Longmorn, Near Elgin, Morayshire IV30 8SJ
Current Owners The BenRiach Distillery Company Ltd
Water source Burnside Springs.
Stills 2 x wash stills and 2 x spirit stills
Capacity per year 2,800,000 Litres
Benriach Distillery History
1898 The BenRiach Distillery is established by the Grant Family on the same site as the Longmorn Distillery.
However, the timing proves to be unfortunate, preceding the ‘Pattison Crash’ by just a few months.
1900 Following the Pattison Crash, the whisky industry moves into a period of recession, and BenRiach is mothballed after just two years of production. The distillery remains closed until 1965, however BenRiach’s floor maltings remain in constant production during this period, providing malted barley for the fully operational Longmorn Distillery.
1965 BenRiach is re-opened by Glenlivet Distillers Ltd, having been almost totally rebuilt, and production re-convenes. However, a large number of the distilleries mothballed in 1900 remain closed to this day, and in some cases have been demolished.
1972 In addition to the regular distillation, production of peated malt whisky commences. With no Islay distillery in their portfolio, and with peated malt a key component in many of Seagram’s blended whisky brands, the firm decided to produce their own peated Speyside, at BenRiach.
Since taking over the distillery in 2004, we have continued to distil both varieties of BenRiach; peated and non-peated.
1978 Glenlivet Distillers Ltd, and the various distilleries under their ownership, including BenRiach and Longmorn, is purchased by Canadian whisky firm Seagrams.
1985 As production steps up, BenRiach is expanded from two stills to four.
1994 BenRiach is released for the first time as a single malt brand in its own right. The whisky is bottled at 10 years old / 43%, and is included as part of Seagram’s ‘Heritage Collection’ along with Strahisla (12YO), Glenkieth (1983) and Longmorn (15YO).
Annual bottling of BenRiach 10YO is limited, and the original BenRiach, characterised by its understated pale-blue label, is somewhat of a rarity and difficult to get hold off.
1999 The BenRiach floor maltings are closed, after 101 years of uninterrupted operation. The maltings remain in good working order, and could be re-activated almost immediately.
2001 Seagrams is acquired by French firm Pernod Ricard.
Four distilleries in the Pernod Ricard group move to rotational production, distilling for just 3 months of the year; BenRiach, Allt a’Bhainne, Braeval and Caperdonich.
2002 All four distilleries are subsequently mothballed in August of 2002.
2004 In April 2004 the acquisition of The BenRiach Distillery by an independent consortium is completed and production re-convenes almost immediately, meaning the inventory is effectively uninterrupted.
In August 2004 the first bottling of BenRiach under the new owners takes place; BenRiach ‘Heart of Speyside’, 12, 16 and 20 years old, and the peated 10 years old are available for the first time.
In September 2004 the first distillation under the new owners is filled to cask. 96 ‘green’ (i.e. first-fill bourbon) barrels are filled, numbered 1 to 96, and are immediately transferred to the BenRiach warehouses for maturation, not to see the light of day for at least 12 years.
2005 In June, The BenRiach Distillery Company wins Best International Business at the 2005 Enterprising Scotland Awards.
In October, BenRiach ‘Authenticus’, a 21 years old version of the peated BenRiach, is launched, restricted to just 800 cases per annum.
2006 In June, The BenRiach Distillery Company wins Best Performing Small Business at the 2006 Enterprising Scotland Awards.
In July, BenRiach 25 years old and BenRiach 30 years old are launched.