Cragganmore distillery

In the small distillery, which is picturesquely situated on the banks of the beautiful river Spey, you get a classic and representative single malt. Take an interesting tour including a video show and take part in a tasting. The distillery is located on the official Scotland’s Malt whisky Trail. There are eight different distilleries and a cooperage on this hiking trail.

Production

The stills are not too big but rather unusually shaped. Even when the distilling capacity was doubled when the two stills were expanded to four in 1964, strict attention was paid to the original shape of the copper stills. The result is a fruity, complex malt that is very subtle smoky. Nevertheless, Cragganmore is one of the smaller distilleries, but has already won several awards for its single malt. Five dunnage warehouses still exist on site, but most of the production is stored elsewhere in Scotland.

The 12-year-old standard bottling is part of the Classic Malts of Scotland range from Diageo and represents the Speyside area. The original bottlings are good, but there are also some independent bottlings for the fans of this distillery.

History

After John Smith gained experience at Glenfarclas, Glenlivet and Macallan, in 1870 it was time for him to start his own distillery. He got his water from the nearby Craggan spring, which also ensured the energy supply in the form of two water wheels. A few years before the distillery opened, the area’s First Railroad had opened with its own train station nearby. So perfect conditions for Mr. John Smith’s young enterprise. His malt was so popular that many blenders wanted to use it for their own blend and were happy to do so.

Cragganmore factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Cragganmore crag*an*moor Speyside Scotland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Active 1869 - Present Malt Cragganmore Not Available
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group
Laura Vernon Diageo

Cragganmore Timeline:

1870: Founded by John Smith (born 1833, formerly lessee of Glenfarclas) who persuaded Sir George Macpherson-Grant, his landlord, to lease him the land to build a new distillery. It was situated beside the Strathspey Railway Line along which a private siding was built (1869 mentioned as well)

1886-93: John Smith died and the distillery was continued by Smith’s trustees

1902: The distillery was rebuilt by Gordon Smith (1901 mentioned as well)

....: Gordon Smith died

1923: Purchased at the expiry of the lease by the Cragganmore-Glenlivet Distillery Co. Ltd., owned equally by the Ballindaloch Estate and by White Horse Distillers Ltd.. A different story is that Gordon Smith’s widow sold the distillery to Cragganmore Distillery Co., a subsidiary of White Horse Distillers

1927: The White Horse share passed to the Distillers Company Ltd. (DCL)

1964: Extended from two to four stills. Licensed to D. & J. McCallum Ltd., Edinburgh

1965-66: White Horse Distillers merged with Distillers Company Ltd. (DCL), who acquired the remaining shares

1972: Stills became steamheated

1988-1989: The single malt is being chosen by United Distillers (UD) to represent the Speyside in their Classic Malts Series

1992: Licensed to MacDonald Greenlees Ltd.

Can I tour Cragganmore?

Yes Cragganmore distillery is tourable. On Trip Advisor the distillery has been rated as excellent by 380 of 448 tours to date. This gives Cragganmore an overall rating of 5.0

Latest reviews

Great Tour and Tasting by Serena T

Booked a Distillery tour for me and my partner with 7 tastings which was amazing. Firstly it was very easy to book via email. Lauren the person who organised it was very helpful and friendly. Once we arrived onsite we headed into the shop where we took our temperatures for covid and we greeted in a very friendly manner. We were the only people on the tour so it was like our own private tour and tasting.Our tour guide Natasha was very knowledgeable and friendly, and answered all our questions very well while we were on the tour. The tasting was great and it was lovely to be able to taste all the whisky's they had, next to one another, my partner was driving so he even got to take the whisky away in little bottles to try when we got home. Definitely worth a visit!

En Route to Becoming a Whiskey Drinker! by HannahE-W

We visited Cragganmore at the end of September, because of covid and the rain we had the place to ourselves. I've never been into whiskey, but the tour was fascinating learning about the process that's so much a part of the local heritage and industry and, with Susan's expert commentary I really enjoyed tasting all the whiskeys. A real treat and definitely helped me on my way to being a whiskey drinker!

Great Day Out by Shaun M

A great tour even during the current restrictions, Kay was a great guide and still took all the time even though there were only two of us. Perfect introduction to Cragganmore whisky.

Rating Reviews
Excellent 380
Very good 59
Average 7
Poor 2
Terrible 0