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Distillery Logo

Image Credit:




Chivas Brothers Ltd. (Pernod Ricard)


Barrel Head


Barrel Head

head whisky maker(s)

Barrel Head


Barrel Head

Year Founded

Barrel Head


Imperial Distillery, established in 1897 during Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, holds a rich yet tumultuous history in the whisky world. Founded by Thomas Mackenzie, who also had interests in Dailuaine and Talisker, Imperial's grand-scale construction included a striking cast iron crown atop its maltings. However, economic challenges forced its closure in 1899, reopening in 1919 under a consortium and later joining DCL's Scottish Malt Distillers in 1925.

Imperial experienced multiple closures and revivals, including a 30-year silence and the addition of Saladin maltings. In response to a whisky boom, it expanded with new stills in the 1960s. After further changes in ownership, including a stint under Allied Distillers and Chivas Brothers, Imperial faced periods of mothballing.

Despite its stop-start history and limited recognition as a single malt, Imperial's gentle, floral, and American cream soda-style whisky began to gain appreciation. However, dwindling stocks and poor timing have left its legacy somewhat unfulfilled. In 2013, the distillery's buildings were demolished to make way for the Dalmunach distillery.

Imperial's fate as a predominantly blend-focused distillery ultimately prevented it from establishing itself as a prominent single malt brand, but its unique character continues to intrigue whisky enthusiasts.

-Written (Mostly) by Robots-

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