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Glenkinchie distillery

In 2017, the Glenkinchie Distillery celebrated its 180th birthday. The distillery near the capital of Scotland is one of the last in the Lowlands. It is located on the way from Northern England to Edinburgh on the beautiful east coast of Scotland. Due to its proximity to Edinburgh, the whisky produced there is also called Edinburgh Malt.

Glenkinchie factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Glenkinchie glen*kin*chee Lowlands Scotland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Active 1837 - Present Malt Glenkinchie Tour Link
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group
Keith Law Diageo

Glenkinchie Timeline:

1837: Established by the Rate brothers, John and George, who had been originally farmers and grew and malted their own barley on the premises

1840: Said to have been worked by James Gray of Leechman & Gray

1851: Operating

1852: John Rate is licensee

1853: The Rate brothers went bankrupt, and the distillery was used mainly as a cowshed. A part was sold to a farmer Christie and converted into a sawmill

1880-81: The distillery was bought by the Glen Kinchie Distillery Co., a consortium of whisky merchants and blenders from Leith and Edinburgh and production was started again after rebuilding the distillery and maltings

1890: The Glen Kinchie Distillery Co. was founded with Major James Gray as General Manager. Reconstruction and refurbishment is going on for the next few years

1890-1914: Limited company

1914: Became a founding member of Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. (SMD), established to consolidate the resources and interest of malt distillers in the Lowlands. Two stills. Licensed to John Haig & Co. Ltd.

1925: Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. (SMD) is bought by Distillers Company Ltd. (DCL), and Glenkinchie is licensed to join John Haig & Co.

1939-45: One of the few distilleries allowed to maintain a small production during WWII

1968: Floor maltings stopped being used

1969: The old floor maltings is converted into a museum

1972: Stills became steamheated

1988-89: Malt becomes available as a single malt as part of United Distillers’s Classic Malt range

1996: Opening of new visitor centre

Can I tour Glenkinchie?

Yes Glenkinchie distillery is tourable. On Trip Advisor the distillery has been rated as excellent by 723 of 930 tours to date. This gives Glenkinchie an overall rating of 4.5

Latest reviews

Thoroughly Enjoyable and Learned a Lot About Whisky! by Latte99

Brilliant tour, everything done well right from the beginning. Greeted at the door, they were expecting us and welcomed with instructions for the tour. Tour guide was really fun and informative, the tour itself was well explained and laid out. Interesting concepts used to help understand the process, especially the 'smells' and of course the tasting at the end. Very clean and modern facilities. Definitely recommend even if you have to drive as they give you the samples to take away.

Great Experience by Wdblair2018

Glenkinchie visitThe visit to Glenkinchie was the very best experience of a distillery. The friendliness and helpful nature of Carol and Janette in booking the trip was so appreciated. On arrival the warmth of the welcome was real. Our guide Willie was simply the best of his kind - brilliant. The actual tour was very different - quite unique - from other distillery tours. Clever and entertaining without patronising. Excellence on all fronts from start to finish. Thank you all.

Fascinating and Enjoyable Introduction to the World of Whiskey. by Caroline S

We arrived in heavy rain, but the warm welcome and excellent tour gave us a great day out. Kirsty guided us alongside WIlly and they were terrific in introducing the history, processes and the tasting of whiskey. We had a great time.

Rating Reviews
Excellent 723
Very good 174
Average 23
Poor 7
Terrible 5