Craigellachie distillery information

The Craigellachie distillery was founded in 1891, in the village of the same name on the banks of the River Spey in the heart of the Speyside whisky region. The founders were a consortium of blenders and merchants led by Alexander Edward (owner of the Benrinnes and Aultmore distilleries) and Peter Mackie (who obtained ownership of the Lagavulin distillery through an inheritance two years earlier) operating under the name Craigellachie Distillery Co Ltd. The name Craigellachie is Gaelic for “Rocky hill”, in reference to a nearby cliff towering over the Spey. The distillery was designed by renowned distillery architect Charles Doig. It was incorporated as a limited company in 1893. It took until 1898, though, before production commenced. In 1896 the distillery was reconstructed as Craigellachie-Glenlivet Distillery Ltd.

In 1916, Craigellachie-Glenlivet Ltd was bought by Mackie & Co. Distillers Ltd, owned by Peter Mackie, and blenders of The White Horse whisky. Following Peter Mackie’s death in 1924, Mackie & Co.Distillers changed name to White Horse Distilleries, and sold the company to Distillers Company Ltd (DCL) in 1927, who transferred ownership of the distillery to Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. in 1930.

Between 1964 and 1965, the distillery was rebuilt, and the amount of stills was doubled from two to four. At the same time, the stills were converted from direct coal firing to steam heated. In 1986 DCL  merged with Arthur Bell & Sons to form United Distillers; owned by Guiness, which itself merged with Grand Metropolitan in 1997 to form Diageo.  Diageo sold off Cragellachie (and Aberfeldy) to John Dewar & Sons Ltd., who were owned by Bacardi.

Craigellachie whisky

The Cragellachie is a bit of a mixed bag, using computer-controlled production processes, and old-fashioned worm tubs to condense the distilled spirit. The whisky is matured off-site.

Most of the whisky produced at Craigellachie is used in Dewar’s blends. However, there have been a few official releases, and every so often an independent bottle will pop up. In 2014, some official bottles were released.

  • 13 Year Old
  • 14 Year Old Flora and Fauna (released around the year 2000)
  • 14 Year Old (the follow-up to the Flora and Fauna. First released in 2004).
  • 17 Year Old
  • 19 Year Old (Travel Retail exclusive)
  • 23 Year Old (Limited edition)

Distillery info:

Water sourceLocal spring on Conval Hill
Owned byJohn Dewar & Sons Ltd

Craigellachie Distillery
Charlestown of Aberlour
AB38 9ST
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 1340 872971

Visitor centreNo

Distillery Setup:

Mash tun10 tonnes1 (Steinecker, Full Lauter)
Washback60,000 litres8 (Larch)
Wash still22,750 litres2
Spirit Still22,750 litres2
Expected yearly output in LPA (Litres of pure alcohol)3,600,000