Convalmore was a whisky distillery in Dufftown, Banffshire, Scotland, UK. The Victorian-style distillery, which was built in 1893, had a somewhat turbulent history. During its lifetime the distillery was ravaged by fire and rebuilt, undertook a failed excursion into continuous distillation using a Coffey Still. Ultimately Convalmore closed its doors in 1985 and the site was sold for warehousing.
Convalmore was the fourth distillery of seven built in Dufftown, collectively known as the ‘Seven Stills of Dufftown’.
With the exception of a 24-year-old bottling from 1978 with 59.4% ABV released as part of Rare Malts series by Diageo in 2003 and a 28-year-old bottling from 1977 with 57.9% ABV in 2005, no owner bottlings from this distillery. The distillery’s single malt was used to blend blended scotch throughout the production period. There were three official single malt bottlings after the closure, along with a number of bottlings by independent companies.
The production water at the Speyside distillery was drawn from springs in the Conval Hills. Convalmore had two wash and two spirit stills. The distillery briefly experimented with continuous distillation between 1909 and 1915.
The distillery was founded on June 2, 1893 by a group of Glasgow businessmen and opened in 1894. In 1904 Convalmore passed to W.P. Lowrie & Co who were in turn taken over by James Buchanan & Co Ltd. in 1906. Convalmore formed the basis of the Black and White blend.
On October 29, 1909, large parts of the distillery were destroyed by fire. Rebuilding began immediately with several modernisations and innovations, including a 2,273 liters per hour capacity Coffey still, but it was removed again in 1915. Ten years later, in 1925, the distillery was acquired by the Distillers Company Ltd. (DCL) and handed over to their daughter Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD) in 1930. In 1964, the distillery was modernised and expanded. The two existing stills were converted to indirect steam heating, two additional stills were installed bringing the total to four and a dark grains plant was estalished. The distillery was mothballed by United Destillers (UD), the successor to DCL in 1985. The site which is contiguous with Grant’s Balvenie and Glenfiddich distilleries was sold to William Grant & Sons the same year. While the Convalmore buildings are still standing, and in fact visible from the road all the equipment has been removed.
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1893: Built by the Convalmore-Glenlivet Distillery Co.
1904: Bought by W.P. Lowrie & Co. of Glasgow following the recession in the whisky trade
1906: James Buchanan, one of their largest customers acquired the failing W.P. Lowrie
1909: The distillery was largely burned down, and rebuilt with a column still was installed
1915: The continuous still was abandoned
1925: Convalmore was sold to Distillers Company Ltd. (DCL)
1964: Modernized and extended to four stills
1985: Mothballed by United Destillers (UD) and the site was sold to William Grant & Sons for warehousing
Can I tour Convalmore?
No, unfortunately Convalmore distillery is not open to the public for tours