Linkwood distillery information

The Linkwood distillery was founded in 1821 on the Linkwood estate (from which it takes its name) in the town of Elgin, in the Speyside whisky region by Peter Brown, but it took until 1825 before production started. From 1842 and onward, James Walker, who previously worked at Aberlour, would manage the distillery on Brown’s behalf. Brown died in 1868, leaving the distillery to his son William, who demolished and rebuilt Linkwood in between 1872 and 1874 to a design by architect Methven. The distillery would remain in the Brown family until 1897, when they established a Limited company by the name Linkwood-Glenlivet Distillery Co. Ltd. 5 years later, in 1902, Robert Innes Cameron joined the board of the company.

Innes Cameron would eventually own the majority of the shares and lead the distillery (he also owned Benrinnes, Tamdhu, and Teaninich), doing so until he passed away in 1932. Shortly after, Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD) would take over Linkwood. The distillery was closed between 1941 and 1945, due to barley shortage as a result of World War 2. It reopened in 1945, with Robert Mackenzie as a manager. Mackenzie was apparently a superstitious man who refused to make any changes in the distillery, afraid that this might affect the character of the spirit. Rumours were he didn’t even want to have spiderwebs removed.

By 1962, SMD decided that a major refurbishment was in order, with the stills converted to steam heating, and electricty installed throughout the distillery. Furthermore, the steam engine and waterwheel were replaced, as were the stills, though the replacements were created to be exact replicas of the old stills. In 1971, a second distillery was constructed directly next to the existing distillery, with the old one taking on the name “Linkwood A”, and the new one “Linkwood B”. The B section contained four stills, bringing the total to six.

Both distilleries produced simultaneously, until 1985, when the A-section was closed down. It reopened from 1990 to 1996, though it has not run continuously in that period, instead just distilling a few months a year. The produce of both the distilleries is married/vatted together. In 2011, more refurbishments took place, with he Mash tun being replaced with a new Stainless steel one, and parts of the wash stills replaced.

Linkwood whisky

Most whisky distilled at Linkwood finds its way into blends, particularly Johnnie Walker and White Horse. However, some official bottlings have been releaed:

  • Flora & Fauna; 12 Years Old (released in 1990)
  • Rare Malts; 26 Years Old (released in 2002)
  • Rare Malts; 30 Years Old (released in 2005)
  • Port finish; 26 Years Old; finished in a Port cask for 14 years
  • Red wine finish; 26 Years Old; finished in red wine cask for 14 years
  • Rum finish; 26 Years Old, finished in a rum cask for 14 years

Distillery info:

Water sourceSprings near Milbuies Loch
Owned byDiageo

Elgin IV30 8RD
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 1343 553800

Visitor centreNo

Distillery Setup:

Mash tun12 tonnes1 (Stainless Steel)
Washback litres11 (Larch (6 in the B-section, 5 smaller ones in the A-section that are now no longer in use))
Wash still14,500 litres3 (1 in A-section)
Spirit Still16,000 litres3 (1 in A-section)
Expected yearly output in LPA (Litres of pure alcohol)3,500,000