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Benrinnes Distillery
Click to see large map in separate window   Location: Aberlour, Banffshire AB3 9NN
Roads: Between the A95 and B9009
Hours: Visitors by appointment only
Phone: 01340-871215

Text from The Whisky Trails, Copyright © Gordon Brown 1993:

The Benrinnes distillery is one of 6 immediately below the Ben that make use of that precious clear water to make their malt whiskies. This is the distillery that was inherited, along with the family estate near Forres, by the young Alexander Edward and which started him in a high-profile career as a whisky promoter and entrepreneur in the years before and after the turn of the century. Benrinnes was not acquired by the Edward family until the 1860s, however, and the first distillery was established in 1826 only to be swept away by the great Speyside floods of 1829. In 1835 a new distillery was built and it was this structure that the Edwards bought from the bankrupt owner in 1864.

A fire brought about rebuilding (including the installation of electric light) in 1896 but Benrinnes remained a combined farm/distillery. A new distillery was built in 1956. A Saladin Box malting system replaced the floor maltings in 1964 and was used for the following 20 years.

Benrinnes is a form of triple-distillation rare but not unique in Scotland and the details of the method here produce spirit of around 76% vol., several degrees more than is customarily achieved with double distillation. The stills are grouped in threes, not pairs. There was just one set of stills until 1966 when capacity was doubled to two sets i.e. six stills.

Benrinnes offers the opportunity to see worm-tubs, the traditional pipe-spirals immersed in cold water, to condense the vapours produced by the stills. The Scurran and Rowantree burns are snow-melt (or snow-bree, as they say locally) which runs down that hard-stone face of Ben Rinnes and makes itself available for the production of the whisky that bears the name of its source.


The Whisky
Text from The Whisky Trails, Copyright © Gordon Brown 1993:

Benrinnes is made from lightly peated malt. It is sweet and fruity with a spicy unctuousness that gives it the qualities of a light liqueur. There is a touch of smoke and nuts throughout which finishes with quiet intensity. It is bottled by the proprietors at 15 years old and independent versions go up to 18 years old with a 1969 vintage still in circulation.

Source of water
Rowantree and Scurran burns