Scotch whisky production

Glendronach malt whisky from 1996
Glenallachie 12 years old whisky
Top 10 Scottish whisky distilleries
A Scotch whisky distillery - Strathisla to be precise

 
     01  -  Lagavulin
     02  -  Glendronach
     03  -  Aberlour
     04  -  Laphroaig
     05  -  Glenfarclas
     06  -  BenRiach
     07  -  Longmorn
     08  -  Talisker
     09  -  Bunnahabhain
     10  -  Highland Park

This section of Malt Madness looks at malt
whisky distilleries in Scotland - grain whisky
is discussed as well, but not in great detail.
Until well after the year 2000, the number
of active MALT whisky distilleries in Scotland
was still much larger than that of the entire
rest of the world put together. So, when I
started work on this site section I didn't
look past the borders of Scotland at first.

Overview of Scottish whisky distilleries

Scotch

Distillery

Founded

Region

Ownership

A - Scotch malt whisky distilleries

Aberfeldy
Aberlour
Abhainn Dearg
Ailsa Bay
Allt-A-Bhainne
Ardbeg
Ardmore
Arran
Auchentoshan
Auchroisk
Aultmore

***
*****
?
?

*
****
***
***
**
***
**

1896---------Active
1826---------Active
2009---------Active
2007---------Active
1975---------Active
1815---------Active
1898---------Active
1993---------Active
1825---------Active
1974---------Active
1896---------Active

Highlands (S)
Speyside
Islands (Lewis)
Lowlands

Speyside
Islay
Speyside
Islands (Arran)
Lowlands
Speyside
Speyside

Bacardi > John Dewar & Sons
Pernod Ricard > Chivas Brothers
Mark Tayburn
William Grant & Sons

Pernod Ricard > Chivas Brothers
Mot Hennessy > Glenmorangie Plc
Beam Inc. > Fortune Brands
Isle of Arran Distillers
Suntory > Morrison Bowmore
Diageo > UDV
Bacardi > John Dewar & Sons

B - Scotch malt whisky distilleries

Balblair
Balmenach
Balvenie
Banff
Ben Nevis
BenRiach
Benrinnes
Benromach
Ben Wyvis
Bladnoch
Blair Athol
Bowmore
Braeval
Brora
Bruichladdich
Bunnahabhain

***
**
***
***
**
*****
***
***
*
***
***
***
***
*****

**
***

1894---------Active
1824---------Active
1892---------Active
1863---------Closed (1983)
1825---------Active
1898---------Active
1835---------Active
1898---------Active
1965---------Closed (1977)
1825---------Active
1798---------Active
1779---------Active
1974---------Active
1819
---------Closed (1983)
1881---------Active
1883---------Active

Highlands (N)
Speyside
Speyside
Speyside
Highlands (W)
Speyside
Speyside
Speyside
Highlands (N)
Lowlands
Highlands (S)
Islay
Speyside
Highlands (N)
Islay
Islay

Pacific Spirits > Inver House
Pacific Spirits > Inver House
William Grant & Sons
Diageo > DCL
Nikka > Ben Nevis Dist. Ltd.
Billy Walker & others > TBDCL
Diageo > UDV
Gordon & MacPhail
Invergordon
Raymond Armstrong
Diageo > UDV
Suntory > Morrison Bowmore
Pernod Ricard > Chivas Brothers
Diageo > DCL

Remy Cointreau > Bruichladdich D. C.
CL Financial > Burn Stewart Dist.

C - Scotch malt whisky distilleries

Caol Ila
Caperdonich
Cardhu
Clynelish
Coleburn
Convalmore

Cragganmore
Craigellachie

***
****
**
***
*
***

***
***

1846---------Active
1898---------Mothballed
1824---------Active
1819---------Active
1897---------Closed (1985)
1894
---------Closed (1985)
1870---------Active
1891---------Active

Islay
Speyside
Speyside
Highlands (N)
Speyside
Speyside

Speyside
Speyside

Diageo > UDV
Pernod Ricard > Chivas Brothers
Diageo > UDV
Diageo > UDV
Diageo > DCL / United Distillers
Diageo > DCL / SMD

Diageo > UDV
Bacardi > John Dewar & Sons

D/E/F - Scotch malt whisky distilleries

Daftmill
Dailuaine
Dallas Dhu
Dalmore
Dalwhinnie
Deanston
Dufftown (Singleton)
Edradour
Fettercairn

?
****
***
***
**
**
***
***
**

2005---------Active
1852---------Active
1899---------Closed (1983)
1839---------Active
1897---------Active
1966---------Active
1896---------Active
1837---------Active
1824---------Active

Highlands (E)
Speyside
Speyside
Highlands (N)
Highlands (W)
Highlands (S)
Speyside
Highlands (S)
Highlands (E)

Francis & Ian Cuthbert
Diageo > UDV
Diageo > DCL
United Spirits > Whyte & Mackay Ltd.
Diageo > UDV
CL Financial > Burn Stewart Dist.
Diageo > UDV
Signatory Vintage SWC Ltd.
United Spirits > Whyte & Mackay Ltd.

G - Scotch malt whisky distilleries

Glen Albyn
Glenallachie
Glenburgie
Glencadam
Glencraig
Glendronach
Glendullan (Singleton)
Glen Elgin
Glenfarclas
Glenfiddich
Glen Flagler
Glen Garioch
Glenglassaugh
Glengoyne
Glen Grant
Glengyle
Glen Keith
Glenkinchie
Glenlivet
Glenlochy
Glenlossie
Glen Mhor
Glenmorangie
Glen Moray
Glen Ord (Singleton)
Glenrothes
Glen Scotia
Glen Spey
Glentauchers
Glenturret
Glenugie
Glenury Royal

**
***
***
***
***
*****
***
***
*****
***
*
***
**
***
**
?
***
**
***
***
**
***
***
***
***
***
***
**
**
**
***
****

1846---------Closed (1983)
1967---------Active
1829---------Active
1825---------Active
1958---------Closed (1980s)
1826---------Active
1898---------Active
1900---------Active
1836---------Active
1887---------Active
1965---------Closed (1980s)
1797---------Active
1875---------Active
1833---------Active
1840---------Active
2004---------Active
1959---------Reopened
1837---------Active
1824---------Active
1898---------Closed (1983)
1876---------Active
1892---------Closed (1983)
1843---------Active
1897---------Active
1838---------Active
1878---------Active
1832---------Active
1878---------Active
1898---------Active
1959---------Active
1834---------Closed (1983)
1852---------Closed (1985)

Highlands (N)
Speyside
Speyside
Highlands (E)
Speyside
Speyside
Speyside
Speyside
Speyside
Speyside
Lowlands
Highlands (E)
Speyside
Highlands (W)
Speyside
Campbeltown
Speyside

Lowlands
Speyside
Highlands (W)
Speyside
Highlands (N)
Highlands (N)
Speyside
Highlands (N)
Speyside
Campbeltown
Speyside
Speyside
Highlands (S)
Highlands (E)
Highlands (E)

Diageo > DCL
Pernod Ricard > Chivas Brothers
Pernod Ricard > Allied (Domecq)
Angus Dundee Distillers
Pernod Ricard > Allied (Domecq)
Billy Walker & others > TBDCL
Diageo > UDV
Diageo > UDV
J. & G. Grant
William Grant & Sons
Pacific Spirits > Inver House
Suntory > Morrison Bowmore
Billy Walker & others > TBDCL
Ian Macleod Distillers
Campari
J. & A. Mitchell > Springbank Dist.
Chivas Brothers (Pernod / Seagrams)
Diageo > UDV
Pernod Ricard > Chivas Brothers
Diageo > DCL
Diageo > UDV
Diageo > DCL
Mot Hennessy > Glenmorangie Plc
La Martiniquaise
Diageo > UDV
1887 Company > Highland Distillers
Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse Ltd.
Diageo > UDV
Pernod Ricard > Allied (Domecq)
1887 Company > Highland Distillers
Long John Dist. / Whitbread
Diageo > DCL

H/I/J/K - Scotch malt whisky distilleries

Highland Park
Hillside / Glenesk
Imperial

Inchgower
Inverleven
(Isle of) Jura
Kilchoman
Kinclaith
Kininvie
Knockando
Knockdhu (An Cnoc)

****
*
***

***
***
***
?
**
*

**
***

1798---------Active
1897---------Closed (1985)
1897---------Demolished
1871---------Active
1938---------Mothballed
1963---------Active
2005---------Active
1958---------Closed (1977)
1990---------Closed (2010)
1898---------Active
1894---------Active

Islands (Orkney)
Highlands (E)
Speyside

Speyside
Lowlands
Islands (Jura)
Islay
Lowlands
Speyside

Speyside
Speyside

1887 Company > Highland Distillers
Diageo > DCL / SMD
Pernod Ricard > Allied (Domecq)

Diageo > UDV
Pernod Ricard > Allied (Domecq)
United Spirits > Whyte & Mackay Ltd.
Athony Willis
Long John Dist. / Whitbread
William Grant & Sons
Diageo > UDV
Pacific Spirits > Inver House

L - Scotch malt whisky distilleries

Ladyburn
Lagavulin
Laphroaig
Linkwood
Littlemill / Dunglass
Loch Lomond
Lochside
Longmorn

**
*****
****
****
*
*
***
****

1966---------Closed (1970s)
1816---------Active
1815---------Active
1821---------Active
1772---------Closed (1994)
1966---------Active
1957---------Closed (1992)
1894---------Active

Lowlands
Islay
Islay
Speyside
Lowlands
Highlands (W)
Highlands (E)
Speyside

W. Grant & Sons
Diageo > UDV
Beam Inc. > Fortune Brands
Diageo > UDV
Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse Ltd.
Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse Ltd.
Pernod Ricard > Allied > MacNab
Pernod Ricard > Chivas Brothers

MNO - Scotch malt whisky distilleries

Macallan
MacDuff (Glen Deveron)
Mannochmore
Millburn
Miltonduff
Mortlach
Mosstowie
North Port / Brechin
Oban

***
***
**
**
****
****
****
**

***

1824---------Active
1962---------Active
1972---------Active
1807---------Closed (1985)
1824---------Active
1823---------Active
1964---------Closed (1981)
1820---------Closed (1983)
1794---------Active

Speyside
Speyside
Speyside
Highlands (N)
Speyside
Speyside
Speyside
Highlands (E)

Highlands (W)

1887 Company > Highland Distillers
Bacardi > John Dewar & Sons
Diageo > UDV
Diageo > DCL
Pernod Ricard > Allied (Domecq)
Diageo > UDV
Allied Distillers
Diageo > DCL

Diageo > UDV

P/R/S - Scotch malt whisky distilleries

Pittyvaich
Port Ellen
Pulteney
Rosebank
Roseisle
Royal Brackla
Royal Lochnagar
Saint Magdalene
Scapa
Speyburn
Speyside (Drumguish)
Springbank (Longrow)
Strathisla
Strathmill

****
****

***
**
?
****
***
****

***
***
*
***
***
**

1975---------Closed (1993)
1825---------Closed (1983)
1826---------Active
1840---------Closed (1993)
2008 (?)-----Active
1812---------Active
1845---------Active
1798---------Closed (1983)
1885---------Active
1897---------Active
1990---------Active
1828---------Active
1786---------Active
1891---------Active

Speyside
Islay

Highlands (N)
Lowlands
Speyside
Highlands (N)
Highlands (E)
Lowlands

Islands (Orkney)
Speyside
Speyside
Campbeltown
Speyside
Speyside

Diageo > UDV
Diageo > DCL / SMD

Pacific Spirits > Inver House
Diageo > DCL
Diageo
Bacardi > John Dewar & Sons
Diageo > UDV
Diageo > SMD

Pernod Ricard > Chivas Brothers
Pacific Spirits > Inver House
Speyside Distillery Co.
J. & A. Mitchell > Springbank Dist.
Pernod Ricard > Chivas Brothers
Diageo > UDV

T - Scotch malt whisky distilleries

Talisker
Tamdhu
Tamnavulin
Teaninich
Tobermory (Ledaig)
Tomatin
Tomintoul
Tormore
Tullibardine
 

****
***
**
***
***
***
***
*
**
 

1831---------Active
1896---------Active
1966---------Active
1817---------Active
1798---------Active
1897---------Active
1965---------Active
1960---------Active
1949---------Active
 

Islands (Skye)
Speyside
Speyside
Highlands (N)
Islands (Mull)
Highlands (N)
Speyside
Speyside
Highlands (S)
 

Diageo > UDV
Ian MacLeod Distillers
United Spirits > Whyte & Mackay
Diageo > UDV
CL Financial > Burn Stewart Dist.
Takara Shuzo > Tomatin Dist. Co.
Angus Dundee Distillers plc
Pernod Ricard > Allied (Domecq)
Tullibardine Distillery Ltd.
 

WHISKY-05-D

Liquid Pin-Up

This list contains all the (legal) malt whisky distilleries in Scotland that have
been active since +/- 1975. Hundreds of other distilleries that were active
in the 18th, 19th and 20th century are not listed, simply because the odds
of ever finding a (genuine) bottle of the whisky are astronomically slim.
"Antique' bottles appearing at auctions and on eBay are usually dodgy.
 
Speaking of astronomically slim - to help the (male) readers of this page
pass the time a little more comfortable while they wait for the +/- eighty
other distillery profiles to be finished, I've included a liquid pin-up at the
right. After reading everything on this page you deserve a little break...
 
OK, now you've enjoyed yourself long enough; time to bugger off to one
of the distillery profiles or another section of Malt Madness. Unless you
require some further instructions about how to interpret the overload
of information on this page, of course. Please, allow me to clarify the
meaning of the data in the six columns of the Distillery Data Overview;

Distillery = simple, the (current, 'official') name of the distillery
Ranking = my purely personal feelings, translated into a star system
Founded = the year the distillery is claimed to have been founded
Status = Active (in production), mothballed (restart possible) or closed
Region = the Scottish whisky region where the distillery is located
Ownership = the parent company or individual owning the distillery
 
I feel that two of these criteria require a little elaboration.
First of all the 'status' of a distillery. I've tried to make the overview
a little more accessible by colour-coding the entries. The 'ghosted'
entries signify closed distilleries, while the fresh green names on the
list represent 'upstarts' that have recently begun producing whisky.
However, the borders are not always clearly defined. When a closed
distillery was demolished (like Saint Magdalene), it will never produce
whisky again - the buildings and/or equipment were destroyed. But
if a distillery is mothballed (like Caperdonich, Glen Keith or Imperial)
there's a chance it will be revived later. There's also a grey area with
distilleries with intermittent production like Scapa and Glen Scotia.
The removal of a special set of stills from a building where one or
more sets of stills remain active counts as closure of the 'distillery'
where a malt by that name (for example Mosstowie) was produced.

The concept of 'ranking' distilleries also deserves an explanation.
During 'A Decade of Heavy Dramming' I was frantically trying to
get at least six expressions from every active distillery in Scotland
on my 'Track Record'. The motivation for this monomaniacal effort
came from a delusion. For many years I honestly believed I would
be able to say something 'definitive' about the quality of the malt
whisky that was produced at a certain distillery, if only I sampled
enough different expressions. At the time six seemed enough...

Just when I had reached my 'Hamstergeddon' goal in 2006, this website crashed.
I had been using the old 'Distillery Data' page to track my progress, so now my 'madministration' was a mess.
Fortunately, I was also struck with a sobering insight around the same time. The character and 'quality' of a particular malt whisky is influenced by so many factors that a 'brand' that released the most beautiful bottlings in the 1990's could be bottling mediocre drivel in the third millennium - and vice versa. That insight destroyed the foundation beneath the 'still scores' that were part of the old DD page. I had operated under the mistaken impression that tasting six expressions would allow me to decide once and for all if a certain malt whisky should be on my future shopping lists or not. By now I realised that the whisky world is constantly evolving and a 'brand' is only as good as it most recent bottlings - I would never be able to close my 'little black book' with tasting notes for good...

I realised that this made the 'definitive' still scores in the old 'distillery data' section pointless.
I needed a new, 'dynamic' system that would allow me to express my feelings about factors like batch variation, upward or
downward trends, quality/price ratio, etcetera. So, I came up with the (purely personal) 'rankings' that you can find in the list
of Scottish distilleries. The minimum score is one star, awarded for simply releasing a single malt in the first place; Deanston
or Loch Lomond may not be my favorite distilleries, but I still enjoy their malt whiskies more than the average blend. If some
expressions of that malt whisky are actually any good, the distillery earns up to four more stars. These rankings are dynamic,
so increasing prices while downgrading the quality of the product has pushed a distillery like Ardbeg quickly from my Top 10.

Laphroaig-1974-A

My purely personal Top 10 distilleries at the top of this page shows my current ten favorite distilleries in Scotland.
However, let me be the first to stress that it's purely personal and relatively arbitrary. The top 10 is based on the selection
of malts that I've tried over the years. Because I haven't tried an equal number of bottlings from all distilleries, this Top 10
isn't a representative representation of reality - just a reflection of my experiences so far. The rankings can be interpreted
as the probability of me spending my hard earned cash on other bottlings from that particular distillery;
 
***** = Absolutely - Official and independent bottlings perform superbly, almost without exception.
**** = Very probably - Edutainment in a bottle; almost a guarantee for an interesting and enjoyable experience.
*** = Likely - Even an 'average' Scotch malt whisky is still a very fine dram. These still beat the Johnnie Walker Black.
** = Unlikely - With so many excellent and (relatively) affordable alternatives available, why bother?
* = Highly unlikely - After sampling at least six expressions, I've given up hope for the foreseeable future.
 
These rankings are dynamic, so the introduction of a new series of good, affordable OB's can boost a distillery's ranking.

As long as you keep in mind that these rankings are purely personal, they could provide a relative beginner with some guidance in the jungle
of available brands and bottlings. After sampling a dozen different malt whiskies you should be able to determine if our tastes are similar.
If they are, you can use my scores and rankings - and perhaps the Beginner's Guide to Single Malt Scotch Whisky - as a simple guideline.

 

whisky

distilleries

 

Active Distilleries
Silent Distilleries
New Projects
 
Whisky Brands
Whisky Bottlers
Grain Whisky
 
About Scotland
About Regions
Speyside
Highlands
Lowlands
Islay
Campbeltown
 
Interactive Map

Scotch

whiskey

If you're interested in Scotland and its many whisky distilleries, read on.
Below you'll find an overview of all active & recently closed distilleries
in Scotland. Apart from the name of the distillery (which links to a more
extensive distillery profile with history, background, statistics, trivia and
tasting notes), the overview below includes additional details. Here you
can find a 'ranking' (1 - 5 stars, indicating my enjoyment of the whiskies
that were produced at that distillery), the year a distillery was founded,
the status of the whisky distillery (either active, mothballed or closed)
and the Scotch region of where that malt whisky distillery is located.

Thanks to many new small projects in Asia,
Europe and the Americas, that situation is
now changing. They have been making fine
whisky in Japan for a few dedades now, and
new projects all around the world (Taiwan,
Tasmania, India, etc.) are doing very well.
Please see the Deviant Drams section for
details on all 'foreign' whiskies & spirits.

Scotch malt whisky distillery listAll malt whisky distilleries in Scotland
Scotch Whisky Distillery DataInteractive whisky distillery mapScotland - whisky distillery informationScotch whisky bottlersScotch malt whisky brandsNew distillery projects

The list of 'Top 10 whisky distilleries' higher up on the page provides an overview of the 10 malt
whisky distilleries in Scotland that I love the most. Well, at least at the moment... So, this doesn't
mean that I think that these ten distilleries have always made the very best Scotch malt whisky;
just that at the moment these distilleries produce the most interesting single malt whiskies at the
most attractive prices. But that top 10 selection is based purely on my personal preferences and
my limited budget. As you can see in the list below, there are over a hundred alternatives...

Scotch malt whisky distilleries in Scotland

Last but not least, the overview below shows the ownership of the distillery. Some Scotch malt
whisky distilleries are owned by large corporations, while others are more individual enterprises.
Check out the Whisky Industry Overview in the mAlmanac for a general overview of the trade.

whiskey distillery

In this distillery section you can find much more details about the whisky distilleries of Scotland
(both malt whisky distilleries and grain whisky distilleries) and the classic malt whisky regions;
Speyside, Highlands, Lowlands, Islay and Campbeltown. Since a few years this site section also
features a nifty Javascript feature I built together with my brother: an interactive distillery map.

This 'Distillery Data' section provides profiles for
all active malt whisky distilleries in Scotland, as
well as a handful of new distillery projects and
silent distilleries. However, this section is not an
overview of every Scotch whisky distillery that
ever existed. That means that a distillery that
was closed before 1970 is not listed on this page.
 
If the name you're looking for isn't listed in the big
overview below, you could try the 'brands' page; it
provides an overview of many alternative names
that you can find on the label of a whisky bottle.
This section of the web site was also enhanced
with an interactive whisky map of Scotland that
features all Scotch whisky distilleries in Scotland,
both malt whisky and grain whisky distilleries.

whisky information
Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky

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