North Port

The name “distillery road” is all that is remains today. The site where the North Port distillery used to distill, primarily for the blend market, today it is a co-operative supermarket. Only the name of the “Distillery road”, which leads past the site, reminds us that there used to be a distillery here.

North Port Distillery

The North Port distillery was located in the village of Brechin, near the east coast of Scotland, south of Aberdeen, between Stonehaven and Forfar. Today however the nearby Glencadam distillery is the only site in Brechin still producing whisky. The Highland distillery was founded in 1820 and closed its doors forever in 1983. North Port’s whisky was never officially bottled as a single malt during its lifetime though it was released as part of the Rare Malts series and a number of independant bottlings exist. Bottling have become very rare in recent years.

House Style

The style of the whiskey is dry and fruity, many connoisseurs claim that it is reminiscent of a gin. It is/was therefore suitable as an aperitif however the Rare Malts series was the only appearance as an owner’s bottling. As with many closed distilleries, the stock is running out and only a few bottles are available, generally at auction.

History

The Brechin Distillery was founded in 1820 by the three brothers David, John & Alexander Guthrie under the name Townhead Distillery Co. Five years later the company name was changed Guthrie, Martin & Co. In the same year, 1825, the Glencadam Distillery was founded on site.

In 1922 the distillery, now known as North Port, produced a not inconsiderable 450,000 liters per year and was bought by the voracious giant The Distillery Company Limited (DCL). DCL transferred the rights to their Scottish malt division, Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD), which unfortunately closed the distillery in 1928. During this time the ‘Mitchell Brothers’ entity existed as the licensee of the North Port distillery in Brechin until it closed for good.

In 1945, after the Second World War, there was another heyday for North Port until the large concentrations and closings in Scotland in the 1980s. During this period the distillery never brought out its own single malt, but contributed to a vatted malt called “Glen Dew”.

The distillery was modernized again somewhat in the 1970s, but the somewhat dilapidated distillery closed its doors forever in 1983, one of several closed by DCL in the 1980s. The distillery’s buildings were gradually dismantled piece by piece until it was finally demolished in 1994 to make way for a supermarket.

Distillery Factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
North Port Highlands Scotland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Lost 1820 - 1994 Malt North Port Not Available
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group

North Port Timeline:

1820: Established as Brechin distillery by David Guthrie

1825: The company name is changed to Guthrie, Martin & Co. and the Glencadam Distillery was founded nearby

1893: Became Guthrie, Martin & Ltd.

1922: Acquired by Distillers Company Ltd. (DCL) in conjunction with W.H. Holt & Co., Manchester. Licensed to Mitchell Brothers, Glasgow

1928: The distillery is mothballed

1937: North Port resumes production

1939: North Port is forced to close during the war

1945: North Port again resumes production

1983: Closed by DCL along with 8 other distilleries

1994: Dismantled to make way for a new supermarket