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Benrinnes Whisky

Benrinnes Speyside Whisky

Benrinnes, from the Scots Gaelic, Beinnroinn, means "promontory hill". A rather uninspired name if you ask me, but maybe on the day it was named it was bitterly cold, wet, and windy and the group of guys out naming stuff had had enough and just said, "Fuck it, that one's called promontory hill, let's go home". Sure there might have been one stickler amongst them, you know the type, that pointed out that a "promontory" is a piece of land, a headland if you will, that juts out into a body of water, and that the now-named Beinnroinn was actually nowhere near a body of water to jut out into. On cold, wet, windy days in the Scottish Highlands, guys out naming stuff have no time for such trivial semantics, so Benrinnes it is.

At the foot of Benrinnes lies the Benrinnes distillery. Now a part of Diageo's line-up and used almost exclusively as a producer of malt for the mammoth J&B, Johnnie Walker, and Crawford's 3-Star blends, Benrinnes has actually been in existence, more or less, since 1826. I say more or less because in 1829 it was destroyed in a flood, in 1896, it was destroyed by fire, and in 1955 it was destroyed by its owners, Dewars, in order to rebuild a more modern facility.

Owner:                            Region/district:                        Diageo                                                Speyside

Founded:    Status:          Capacity:

1826            Active           2 500 000 litres

Address: Aberlour, Banffshire AB38 9NN

Tel:                         website:

01340 872600           www.malts.com


1826 – The first Benrinnes distillery is built at Whitehouse Farm by Peter McKenzie.

1829 – A flood destroys the distillery.

1834 – A new distillery, Lyne of Ruthrie, is constructed a few kilometres from the first one. The owner, John Innes files for bankruptcy and William Smith & Company takes over.

1864 – William Smith & Company goes bankrupt and David Edward becomes the new owner.

1896 – Benrinnes is ravaged by fire which prompts major refurbishment. David Edward dies and his son Alexander Edward takes over.

1922 – John Dewar & Sons takes over ownership.

1925 – John Dewar & Sons becomes part of Distillers Company Limited (DCL).

1955/56 – The distillery is completely rebuilt.

1964 – Floor maltings is replaced by a Saladin box.

1966 – The number of stills doubles to six.

1984 – The Saladin box is taken out of service and the malt is purchased centrally.

1991 – The first official bottling from Benrinnes is a 15 year old in the Flora & Fauna series.

1996 – United Distillers releases a 21 year old cask strength in their Rare Malts series.

2009 – A 23 year old (6,000 bottles) is launched as a part of this year´s Special Releases.

2010 – A Manager´s Choice 1996 is released.

The above timeline is a quote from Malt Whisky Year Book, written by author Ingvar Ronde, we thank you for your inspirational work - Buy the latest copy of the book here!

The book is written by Ingvar Ronde in English, with contributions from many whisky experts, just to name a few: Chris Bunting, Gavin D Smith, Ian Buxton, Charles MacLean, Dominic Roskrow, Colin Dunn and Neil Ridley.

The 2012 edition has been extended by 24 pages to a total of 300 pages. Malt Whisky Yearbook 2012 tells you everything you need to know about the Scottish, Irish and Japanese distilleries, flavored with more than 500 pictures. Additionally, there is a detailed walkthrough of brand new and planned distilleries, along with distilleries from countries we do not usually associate with whisky. 
Shortly put, Malt Whisky Yearbook 2012 is a fantastic piece of reference, which will tell you everything you need to know about the malt whisky of the world - and more!