Latest update: October 5th 2010
BENROMACH DISTILLERY PICTURES
The pictures in the slide show at the right, were taken by Frans Brouwer – The Whisky Friend. The pictures are used with kind permission from him.
Revisiting Benromach, one of the first things you see is that they dropped their Gordon & MacPhail dress up. As the distillery was re-opened by Gordon & MacPhail, the visitor centre was set up as a Gordon & MacPhail centre. As the distillery is in production now for some years and has produced their own 10 year old whisky, and a range of other worthwhile whiskies from peated and origins to organic, the set up of the visitor centre has its own Benromach character now. Although Gordon & MacPhail is still owner, the distillery is showing its own character now.
It is a nice looking distillery in the town of Forres, which is close to Elgin, the home of Gordon & MacPhail.
The Benromach distillery was opened in 1900, by Duncan McCallum (who also owned Glen Nevis in Campbeltown) and F.W. Brickman (a spirit merchant from Leith). Soon after it however closed again. From 1907 until 1910, Duncan McCallum ran the distillery under the name Forres distillery. It then opened for a short period in 1931. And started again in 1937, and was sold in 1938 to Associated Scottish Distillers Ltd. In 1953 they were taken over by Distillers Company Ltd (DCL). There was rebuilding and modernising going on in 1968 and 1974. The distillery was mothballed in 1983.
In 1992 Gordon & MacPhail bought the distillery from United Distillers & Vintners, who took over DCL. It took 6 years until the distillery could re-start, since there was hardly any equipment left. The distillery was re-opened by Prince Charles in 1998. In 1999 the visitor centre was added.
Of course, Gordon & MacPhail still has a huge influence on what happens at Benromach, but giving the distillery their own “presentation” shows the coming of age of the distillery. Benromach is the smallest running distillery in Speyside.
BENROMACH DISTILLERY VISIT 2006
Driving up by train from Elgin to Forres, you already see the distillery just before you arrive at the station. It is at a nice walking distance from the station, if you only know how to get there. The distillery that got a new life after it has been bought by Gordon & MacPhail. Just like other independent bottlers they decided to buy their own distillery, which was probably the best thing that could happen to Benromach. The distillery started a new life and has been quite busy producing new products. Next to their “Traditional”, there some wood finished and most recently the Benromach Organic.
The distillery has a nice visitor centre set up to receive their visitors, sadly enough in the distillery I wasn’t allowed to make pictures. What you will find in this photo shoot are some pictures of their museum like hall with an old mash tun, a mill and some other old tools that were used for making whisky in the past. The distillery is set up nicely and even though it isn’t that big, there are currently building up stocks, which means that they soon will have to start building a new warehouse.
BENROMACH DISTILLERY & MALT WHISKY CENTRE
Forres, Moray IV36 3EB
Phone: 0044 – (0)1309 675 968