Glenugie

Glenugie distillery in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire was a Scottish Malt whisky distillery operated intermittently from 1831 to 1983, when it was dismantled. The whiskey has never been officially sold as a single malt, the only bottles available were marketed by independent bottlers. The first known bottles were released by Cadenheads dating back to 1959.

Glenugie (Invernettie) Distillery

Alongside Glenaden, Kirktown and Longside, Glenugie is one of four lost distilleries in the Peterhead area. Originally called Invernettie Glenugie was operated only intermittently throughout its history, even briefly being converted into a brewery. Having survived the Pattison crisis relatively unscathed Glenugie was one of the victims of the 1980s whisky loch. Glenugie closed its doors for the last time in 1983. Its buildings were then sold to two north sea oil firms, some have since been are classified in Category B in the Scottish List of Monuments. The brand name is owned by Chivas Brothers (Pernod Ricard).

Anyone who still has any whisky from Glenugie should consider themselves very lucky, the last new bottlings from the distillery were released in 2012. According to reports, there don’t seem to be any more available for bottling among the large independant bottlers either.

Production

The water required for production was drawn from the Wellington spring. Two pair of stills (two wash and two spirit stills) were used to create an annual capacity of around 90,000 gallons per annum. Two of the pot stills were fitted with shell and tube condensers (a horizontal one for the wash still and an upright one for the spirit still) to supplement the existing worm tubs. The mashtun and spirit safe, from Archibald McMillan Ltd, was sold to Fettercairn.

House Style

The single malt produced by the Glenugie Distillery is often rustic, almost medicinal. While most bottlings have a very marked woody taste, a few reveal pleasant fruity and floral notes.

History

The distillery was founded in 1831 in Invernettie, which was then outside of Peterhead. A disused windmill in the Eastern Highlands it was converted by Donald McLeaod & Co. into a Invernettie distillery. The distillery would operate a mere three years before being mothballed. The site was then acquired by The Glenugie Distillery Co. in 1837 and converted it into a brewery. By 1875 the site had been acquired by Scottish Hingland Distillers who reinstalled distilling equipment, renamed Invernettie Glenugie and switched production back to whiskey. A mere four years later in 1879 Scottish Hingland Distillers were disolved and Glenugie was sold on to George Whyte & Co. The distillery changed hands again in 1881 at the liquidation of George Whyte & Co.

In 1884, Simon Forbes acquired Glenugie distillery and successfully navigated the distillery through the Pattison whisky crisis up until 1915. During his tenure the distillery was one of many visited by Alfred Barnard. Acquired by Glenugie Distillery Ltd in 1923 the distillery fell silent between from 1926. Production resumed after a takeover by London distiller Seager Evans & Co. in 1937.

When Scheney International acquired Seager Evans & Co Ltd in 1956, it was decided to refocus on whiskey production and the facilities were modernized. Two new stills were also installed, doubling production, and the existing pair were converted to oil over coal heating. The distilleries floor maltings were stopped, the freed space being converted into a storage area. In 1970, the Long John International company bought the distillery, before being itself absorbed by Whitbread & Co Ltd.

The distillery could not survive the crisis of the early 1980s and unable to compete was closed in 1983. The production facilities were dismantled, and the land and warehouses were acquired by the Score Group plc. Score Group plc headquarters now stands on the site of the former distillery.

Distillery Factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Glenugie Highlands Scotland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Closed 1834 - 1983 Malt Glenugie Not Available
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group

Glenugie Timeline:

1831: Glenugie Distillery was founded as Invernettie

1837: The distillery was converted into a brewery

1873: The brewery was reconverted for distillation and renamed Glenugie

1879: Scottish Highland Distillers is dissolved, Glenugie is sold to George Whyte & Co.

1925: Glenugie is mothballed

1884: Glenugie is acquired by Simon Forbes and production resumes

1925: Glenugie is mothballed again

1937: Glenugie is taken over by Seagar Evans and reopened

1970: Seagar Evans is acquired by Schenley Industries and Glenugie passes to Long John International

1975: Long John International is taken over by Whitbread & Co.

1983: Glenugie is closed and the site is sold to Score Group plc.

Useful Glenugie links:

Glenugie at Worm Tub

Glenugie at Lost Distillery

Glenugie at Malt Madness