Aberlour, Banffshire. Licentiehouder: A. & A. Crawford Ltd, Leith. Onderdeel van Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. (S.M.D.) De malt divisie van United Distillers Ltd. Eigendom van Guinness.
De eerste distilleerderij die werd gebouwd op de hellingen van de Benrinnes en zijn naam kreeg.
Benrinnes is 213 meter boven de zeespiegel gelegen en wordt voor het eerst genoemd toen Peter McKenzie boerde op de Whitehouse Farm en ook distilleerde.
In 1829 werd de distilleerderij weggevaagd door een vloedgolf van water die de berg afkwam Benrinnes werd hebouwd in 1835, anderhalve kilometer meer de berg op, op zijn huidige plek
De distilleerderij was zo ontworpen dat men gebruik maakte van het hoogteverschil, van het terrein, zodat men maar één pomp nodig had in het gehele complex.
In 1842 was John Innes hier distillateur.
In 1845 werd William Smith distillateur, hij was eigenaar van de apperatuur, maar niet van de gebouwen en ging in 1864 bankroet.
In 1864 werd David Edward huurder van de grond en gebouwen.
Zijn zoon Edward volgde zijn vader op te Benrinnes, stichtte Craigellachie, Aultmore, was aandeelhouder in Oban en had invloed in veel bedrijven die met het maken van en de handel in met whisky hadden te maken.
The Benrinnes - Glenlivet Distillery Co, Ltd werd gevormd in 1897, en land, gebouwen, ma-chinerie, waterrechten en goodwill werden gekocht voor £ 78.930.
David Edward werd voorzitter en drie andere bekende namen in de Schotse whiskywereld werden zijn mededirecteuren: Innes Cameron van Linkwood, Duncan MacCallum van Glen Nevis (Campbetlown) en F.W. Brickmann te Leith" bankman en whiskymakelaar.
Benrinnnes produceerde tegen hoge kosten in die tijd vanwege de onmogelijke plaats van de distilleerderij: alles moest met paard en wagen van het spoorwegstation te Aberlour van en naar Benrinnnes worden vervoerd.
Maar door de hoge kwaliteit van het produkt kon men ook een hogere prijs vragen en krijgen.
In 1896 werd Benrinnnes grotendeels door brand verwoest en drie jaar later op grotere schaal herbouwd.
De parafine verlichting werd toen ook vervangen door electrisch licht.
Tengevolge van het bankroet van de blending firma Pattison te Leith in 1899, waarbij een groot aantal bedrijven in de whiskyindustrie mee werden gesleept, waaronder F.W. Brickman, die optrad als verkoopagent voor de whisky van Benrinnnes, beleefde Benrinnnes heel moeilijke jaren, net als zoveel anderen.
Tien jaar later werd het aandelenkapitaal afgeschreven van £ 80.096 tot £ 39.800. John Dewar & Sons Ltd, te Perth nam Benrinnnes in 1922 over.
In 1930 na het samengaan van Dewar en anderen met de Distillers Company Ltd (D.C.L) werd Benrinnnes onderdeel van Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd, de maltdivisie van de D.C.L.
Benrinnes sloot in 1932 - 1933 en weer in 1943. In 1945 werd Benrinnes weer opgestart.
Electriciteit werd toen opgewekt door een generator die werd aangedreven door een petro-leum motor, en indien de waterstand hoog genoeg was door middel van een water-wiel.
In 1951 werd Benrinnnes aangesloten op het electriciteitsnet.
In 1955 werd Benrinnnes herbouwd en gemoderniseerd en in 1956 weer opgestart.
In 1964 werden de moutvloeren gesloten en kwam er een Saladin systeem.
Het water voor Benrinnes komt van drie bronnen, Rowan Tree Burn, Benrinnes Spring en Scurran Burn.
Er is één Mach tun van 8,6 ton en zes Wash backs van elk 41.500 liter.
Benrinnes heeft zes ketels, waarmee een vorm van drievoudige distillatie wordt toegepast.
De twee Wash stills zijn elk groot 20.943 liter, de twee zogenaamde 'intermediate' stills zijn elk 5,243 liter en de twee Spirit stills zijn groot 7099 liter.
De ketels worden met stoom verhit.
Benrinnes kan 2.000.000 liter spirit per jaar produceren.
Bijna de gehele produktie was bestemd voor de Crawford blended whiskies.
De distilleerderij bezit drie boerderijen: Benrinnes Farm West, Derrybeg Farm en Moss-side Farm, waarop graan wordt verbouwd en rundvee wordt gehouden.
Diageo has announced that its 2005 Annual Rare Malts Selection will be the last.
The collection will consist of four cask strenght single malts from closed distilleries; Glen Mhor 28 years old, Millburn 35 years old, Glendullan 26 years old and Linkwood 30 years old.
Dr. Nicholas Morgan, global malts marketing director commented: 'As the Special Releases are now well established, it makes less sence to continue selecting and promoting a parallel series of Rare Malts with his own separate indentity'.
In future, all premium and rare whiskies will be made available in the annual Special Releases series.
Benrinnes Distillery was built at a height of almost 700 feet (213 metres) above sea level, on the northern shoulder of Ben Rinnes. The mountain rises to a summit of 2,755 feet (840 metres), commands a view of nine counties, and is a landmark to the fishing fleet of the Moray Firth.
The large intrusion of "Ben Rinnes granite", injected in a molten state among and through existing rocks in geological times, is a fact of great importance to the Speyside distilling industry. Eleven distilleries obtain the finest of pure hill water from somewhere within the boundaries of this intrusion. Benrinnes Distillery is ideally located to exploit this natural advantage. Its water, as Alfred Barnard wrote in The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom, 1887, "rises from springs on the summit of the mountain and can be seen on a clear day some miles distant, sparkling over the prominent rocks on its downward course, passing over mossy banks and gravel, which perfectly filters it". Both process and cooling water are
drawn from the Scurran and Rowantree burns.
The earliest known reference to Benrinnes dates from 1826, when Peter McKenzie was recorded as the licensed distiller. According to local tradition, the distillery was located near White-house Farm until it was swept away in the great flood of 1829. Barnard was told that "the works" had been built on the present site in 1835, "and from that day to the present have been continually altered and enlarged". As illustrated on the letterhead of John Innes, the distiller in 1842, they consisted of a farm steading with some of its outbuildings adapted for distilling purposes. The next known occupier, William Smith, testified before a bankruptcy court in 1864 that he had been tenant or sub-tenant for nineteen years of the farm of Lower Lyne of Ruthrie, where the distillery was located, and that he owned the distilling vessels, but not the buildings. Later that year, when Smith changed his place of residence to Banff Gaol, David Edward, farmer, of Gauldwell, took over the lease.
Alexander Edward succeeded his father as owner of Benrinnes, built Craigellachie and Aultmore Distilleries, and promoted various companies, including the Benrinnes-Glenlivet Distillery Co. Ltd. in 1897. This company acquired the lands, buildings, water rights, plant, vessels and the goodwill of the business for £78,930. Edward himself was chairman and managing director. His co-directors comprised two distillers, Innes Cameron of Linkwood, Elgin, and Duncan MacCallum of Glen Nevis, Campbeltown, with the local bank agent and F.W. Brickmann of Leith, a whisky broker.
The Northern Scot published a brief description of Benrinnes in 1899. The stillhouse and other main buildings had been rebuilt and remodelled after "a rather destructive fire" about three years earlier. An improved method of mashing, and the installation of three large stills, had increased capacity. There was a new plant for treating effluent; electric light had replaced paraffin lamps; and eight modern warehouses had been built, with a ninth in course of erection. The drawback of the distillery's upland situation was the distance from a railhead: all supplies came by horse and cart up the hill from Aberlour Station, three miles away. There were countervailing factors in its supplies of pure water, peat, barley and air, all of which "con-tributed to the high character which Benrinnes has attained in the market, and the high price it can always command".
The "heavy failure", later in 1899, of F.W. & 0. Brickmann,
sole agents for the make, inflicted serious damage on the new company. A recession in the whisky industry followed. Ten years later, the directors had to write down the capital from £80,096 to £39,800.
John Dewar & Sons Ltd. of Perth obtained control of the company in 1922. Ownership of Benrinnes was transferred in 1930 to Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd., five years after Dewar's (and other major whisky blenders) had merged their business with that of The Distillers Company Limited.
Benrinnes closed in the winter of 1932-33, and again in 1943, owing to wartime restrictions on the supply of barley to distillers. It changed out of recognition within a few years of restarting production in 1945. At that time lighting was provided by a generator worked by a petrol engine or, when there was enough water, by a water-wheel. A Rushton-Hornsby steam engine drove the elevators that loaded malt into the kiln and worked the mashing machine. Another engine operated the barley elevators. All were replaced by electric power from the national grid in 1951.
By 1955 the condition of the main buildings had reached a stage where major reconstruction had become necessary. This work was completed, and distillation resumed, in 1956. The new distillery was rationally planned, more productive and easier to run. It was, inevitably, less picturesque. The old distillery had started as an extension of the farm steading, which was now demolished and replaced by a cask store and cooperage. Visitors leaving the office no longer tangled with a procession of cows (and a bull) emerging from the byres. There had been times when the beasts took fright, and the distillery employees were called out to round them up.
There was no change in the method of production. A form of triple distillation is a characteristic feature of the process as practised at Benrinnes. The furnaces of the three stills were hand-fired until 1963, when a mechanical coal-stoking system was installed. The number of stills was increased to six in 1966. They were converted to steam-heating from an oil-fired boiler in 1970.
A Saladin malting replaced the floor maltings in 1965. None of the Victorian buildings now remains except possibly No. 2 store and perhaps also the former cooperage and a few of the warehouses. Additional warehouses were built in 1978-81.
Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. owns 27 houses for occupation by employees at Benrinnes. The distillery site occupies 10 acres (4 hectares) excluding Benrinnes Farm West, Derrybeg Farm and Moss-side Farm. These are owned and managed by SMD and occupy about 400 acres (162 hectares). The main products are cattle and grain.
The licensed distillers are A. & A. Crawford Ltd., Leith, blenders of Crawford's Three Star and Five Star Scotch whiskies.
Diageo has named Teaninich near Alness as the location for its plans to build a new 50 million pound new malt whisky distillery and will be adjacent the existing Teaninich distillery
but will have its own name and indentity and will have the capacity to produce 13 million
litres of spirit p[er annum from its 16 stills.
Diageo also invest 12 million pound in expanding the Teaninich distillery to almost doubless capacity.
The site will also feature a bio - energy plant.
The work will begin in 2014.
Diageo also will invest in Mortlach distillery in building a new still house and an other invest-
ment will be at Glendullan distillery to process co products in an anaerobic digestion process, producing bio - gas which will be used to power the Glendullan distillery.
There are also expansion and upgrade developments for more then 40 million pound in
Linkwood, Mannochmore, Glendullan, Dailuaine, Benrinnes, Inchgower, Cragganmore,
Glen Elgin, Glen Ord and in a new bio - energie plants in Glenlossie and Dailuaine.
Also new warehouse are build at Cluny near Kirkcaldy.
And at Talisker a new visitor centre is build for a 1 million pound
For a long time the stills were run three and three, instead of in pairs. This technique is
reminiscent of Springbank's partial triple distillation and was probably adopted in con-
nection with rebuilding the distillery in 1955.
For the last couple of years, though this has changed and two wash stills are now feeding
four spirit stills, two of which were originally intermediate stills.
We, the Tasting Panel, verify that the Scotch Malt Whisky inside this bottle has been
passed under some of the most scrupulous noses in the world and approved for re-
lease as a Society bottling.
Only single cask whiskies that promise to intrigue, entertain and delight our members
are selected, true to our motto: "TO LEAVE NO NOSE UPTURNED ".
Process - and cooling water are obtained from the Scurran and Rowantree burns.
The Lauter Mash tun has a capacity of 9 tonnes, the mashing time is 6 hours.
The are 8 wooden Wash backs made from Scottish larch each 50.000 litres.
The 6 stills are traditional onion shaped
2 Wash stills with a capacity of 22.935 litres, charged a 20,000 litres
2 Spirit stills with a capacity of 9.292 litres, charged 7.099 litres
2 intermediate stills with a capacity of 6.364 litres, charged 5.243 litres
The 6 stills are grouped in trios, and each trio has its own still house
There worm tubs for cooling.
The new make has 76 % ABV
Benrinnes does 16 mashes a week, the output is 2.600.000 litres