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Balmenach distillery

Single malts from the Speyside distillery Balmenach are usually only available from independent bottlers. Otherwise, the spicy-floral whisky wanders into the blends of its owner.

Balmenach Whisky

The Balmenach whisky distillery is located in the middle of the Speyside, between Grantown-on-Spey and Bridge of Avon.

House Style

What does Balmenach single malt taste like?Balmenach Single Malt Whisky is slightly peaty on the one hand, but also clearly flowery on the other. Overall, you can expect a hearty whisky at Balmenach bottlings, which you can also enjoy with food. Older bottlings are often attributed a distinct heather aroma.


How is Balmenach whisky produced?The production volume of the Balmenach distillery is about 2 million liters annually. They distill in six stills. A stainless steel mash tun and six Douglas fir fermentation tanks are also used. In 1991 a Balmenach single malt was released in the Flora & Fauna series, but it is now sadly no longer available outside of auction. There is currently no original bottling from the distillery. From time to time, independent bottlers like Gordon and MacPhail offer a Balmenach Single Malt.


The distillery was apparently founded in 1824. This made the distillery one of the first in the region characterized by illicit distillation. The distillery was operated continuously in the 19th century. However, the owners did not invest enough in the structure of the distillery, so the building gradually fell into disrepair. During the First World War the distillery was closed and only when a group of blenders took over the distillery in 1922 did the distillery develop better. In the 1930 the distillery was acquired by Scotch Malt Distillers, DCL’s malt production arm, and in 1991 passed to to United Distillers. In 1993 United Distillers closed the distillery. In 1997 Inver House Gordon bought the distillery and revitalized Balmenach. The distillery is also the home of Caorunn Gin.

Balmenach factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Balmenach bal*may*nack Inver House Distillers Speyside Scotland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Active 1824 - Present Malt Balmenach Tour Link
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group
Chic Morgan ThaiBev

Balmenach Timeline:

1823: James Macgregor received a visit on his farm, on which he kept an illicit Still, from the local exciseman, who was suspicious about seeing a building with a mill-wheel and a lade. Asked what is was James told him that it was a peat shed. After receiving generous hospitality upon leaving James got the gentle advice to take out a license for his peat shed

1824: Said to have been founded by James McGregor

1824-Aug-18: A ledger entry recorded the sale of ”10 gallons of aqua 11 over-proof”, at 9 shillings per gallon duty-paid, to William Milne, of Broad Street, Aberdeen

1825-67: James McGregor licensee

1878-82: James Macgregor died and was succeeded by his brother, John MacGregor, who was summoned home from New Zealand

1879: During the great storm that blew down the railway bridge across the River Tay, the Distillery chimney collapsed and a fire was fighted by a Stillman by opening the Discharge Cocks preventing the fire from spreading

1896: John McGregor & Son

1897: Balmenach-Glenlivet Distillery Ltd. was formed and the distillery was linked to the station at Cromdale by a private railway

1920: Company reconstructed

1923-24: Owners Peter Dawson Ltd.

1930: All shares bought by Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. (SMD)

1941: Distillery closed and used as a billet for the Royal Corps of Signals

1947: Distillery reopened

1962: Extended from four to six stills. Licensed to John Crabbie & Co. Ltd., Leith. Saladin maltings and dark-grain plant

1968: Mash House renovated

1971: Stills became steamheated

1992: Licensed to United Malt & Grain Distillers Ltd. (UMGD)

1993: Announced by United Distillers (UD) that distillery will be mothballed which was done that year

1997: Sold to Inver House Distillers Ltd.

Can I tour Balmenach?

No, unfortunately Balmenach distillery is not open to the public for tours