Glenburgie

Glenburgie is a sweet, slightly oily and somewhat grassy single malt whisky, which is distilled in the north of the Speyside in the often overlooked distillery. As the majority of the production is processed in blended whiskies such as Ballentine’s outside of periodic bottlings Glenburgie is generally only available from independent bottlers!

Glenburgie Whisky

Glenburgie is tucked away on a side street off the A96 between Forres and Elgin, in the Scottish Speyside whisky region. Ballantine’s The Glenburgie bottled at 40% abv is the only official bottling currently available. If you are interested in a Glenburgie, you should look at the independent bottlers. Both Signatory and Gordon & MacPhail have again and again series of Glenburgies in the Sortiment.

House style

How does Glenburgie Single Malt taste?Glenburgie is a light and sweet with hints of grass, fruit and a clear herbal note. The body of the single malts is traditionally oily.

Production

How is Glenburgie Whisky produced?The water comes from unspecified sources, which are located near the distillery. It is mixed in a stainless steel mashtun with a copper lid. The distillery has twelve wash backs made of stainless steel available for subsequent fermentation. Three still pairs (3 wash and 3 spirit stills) are used for distillation in the stillhouse. Annual production sits at 4.2 million litres per annum. Maturation takes place primarily within in ex-boubron barrels.

History

The distillery is accepted as being founded by William Paul in 1810, under the name Kilnflat. In 1829 the distillery received its official license under the name Kilnflat. Whisky was continuously produced under this name until it was closed in 1870.

The distillery got its current name Glenburgie in 1878 under its new owner Charles Hay. It was also the first distillery project of the great 19th-century architect Charles Chree Doig, who oversaw a rebuild at the site in 1881.

In 1884 Alexander Fraser & Co. bought the distillery. The company went however in 1925, during World War I, bankruptcy and the bankruptcy trustee Donald Mustad personally took over the business from Glenburgie. James & George Stodart Ltd. bought the now decommissioned distillery in 1927.

In 1936 the Canadian Hiram Walker acquired the company James & George Stodart Ltd. 100% after he bought a 60% share pact from the company back in 1930. Glenburgie started production again in the same year under the leadership of the Scottish subsidiary George Ballantine & Co. From 1936 to 1959, a woman, Margaret Nicol, led the distillery.

In 1987 Allied Lyons bought the Hiram Walker company. In 2004 the distillery was demolished and completely rebuilt for £ 4.3m. In 2005, Pernord Ricard took over Glenburgie and put it under the management of their subsidiary Chivas Brothers Ltd.

Interesting facts about Glenburgie

In 1958 two Lomond stills were fitted, producing a heavier, richer spirit from the same mash as the other two stills. This spirit Glencraig, named for the production manager William Craig, was stored separately, necessitating the introduction of two spirit safes and receiving vessels.

With these Lomond stills, the adjustable head and lyne arm made it possible to manipulate reflux and actively influence the taste of the raw spirit. The Lomond stills were removed in 1981 and replaced with traditional pot stills. Glencraig was introduced for blending purposes and very little has ever been bottled though it’s still possible to find Glencraig bottlings at auction or from the independent bottlers.

Distillery Factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Glenburgie glen*bur*gee Glencraig Speyside Scotland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Active 1810 - Present Malt Glenburgie Not Available
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group
James Mulholland Pernod Ricard

Glenburgie Timeline:

1810: Established by William Paul as Kilnflat Distillery

1829-71: Founded on this site as Kilnflat Distillery by William Paul (see also Grange) and continued until 1871 when William Paul sublet the distillery to Charles Hay who changed the name to Glenburgie

1878: Charles Hay licensee

1880: Fraser & Grant

1882-Jul: Acquired by Alexander Fraser & Co. of Elgin

by 1890: The wash still capacity had grown from 90 gallons (400 litres) to 1,500 gallons (6,800 litres) due to the increasing demand for Speyside malt

1895: Incorporated as a limited company

1925: Alexander Fraser & Co. went bankrupt and ownership passed to Donald Mustard, an Elgin lawyer

1927-35: Distillery silent

1930: Control of the distillery was acquired by Hiram Walker-Gooderham & Worts Ltd., Ontario and transferred to their subsidiary J. & G. Stodart to which it is still licensed (1994)

1936: Distillery sold

1937: Ownership vested in Hiram Walker & Sons (Scotland) Ltd.

1950s: The floor maltings ceased

1958: Two Lomond stills, known as Glencraig Distillery, added to the two Glenburgie stills

1981: The Lomond Stills are replaced by a pair of conventional Stills

1999: Owned by Allied Distillers Ltd.

2004: Owned by Allied Distillers Ltd.