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Keith Cruickshank
*Distillery Manager

Gordon & MacPhail


Barrel Head


Barrel Head

head whisky maker(s)

Barrel Head


Barrel Head

Year Founded

Barrel Head


Benromach distillery, nestled in Forres, Scotland, is a fascinating tale of revival and reinvention. Its history can be divided into two distinct parts. The distillery was initially built in 1898 on land rented from Alexander Edward, a prominent figure in the Victorian and Edwardian whisky trade. However, it didn't start producing whisky until 1900, and its production remained intermittent as it changed hands several times, including ownership by National Distillers of America and, finally, DCL (Distillers Company Limited). The DCL operated Benromach until 1983 when, like many distilleries during an industry-wide stock surplus, it was closed. The distillery sat in silence for 11 years, during which its interior was stripped for parts by Diageo.

In 1993, Elgin's Gordon & MacPhail took ownership of Benromach and embarked on an ambitious journey to breathe new life into this historic site. Over the course of five years of trials, they essentially built a new distillery within the old shell. Under Gordon & MacPhail's ownership and Keith Cruickshank's leadership, Benromach was transformed into a producer of Speyside malt whisky that harked back to an older style. Using their newly installed equipment, they crafted a medium-bodied, fruity whisky with a subtle touch of smoke. Despite the smaller stills, the new make spirit closely resembled the one produced during DCL's era, adding to the mystique of how a distillery's microclimate influences its character.

-Written (Mostly) by Robots-

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