Complete Guide to Scotch Whisky
Balmenach Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Cromdale, Moray PH26 3PF Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)1479 872569 Fax: +44 (0)1479 873829
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Situated on the River Spey in the very heart of Speyside, the Balmenach distillery was an illicit distillery when it started producing in 1801. Smugglers, bothies and illicit drinking were all prevalent in the area. It is also of interest to mention that this is same area where in 1690 an army of Jacobites were ambushed by Dragoon Guards. As a result, this defeat effectively ended the Jacobite rising in the Highlands. It was not until 1824 that James MacGregor,the original founder and local farmer decided to licence his "peat shed" as a distillery.

The distillery was owned and operated by the McGregor family until it was sold in 1922 to a company that would become Distillers Company Limited (DCL). In 1993, United Distillers & Vinters (UDV) took the decision to mothball Balmenach and the distillery lay silent until 1998 until Inver House Distillers bought it making it the company's fifth and largest distillery. The first distillate of Balmenach for 5 years was then produced in March that year and stored in casks in one of the three dunnage warehouses on the site.



A single hogshead matured Balmenach (cask number 203), distilled on the 25th January 1984, aged for 25 years and bottled on the 15th September 2009. A release of 159 individually numbered bottles, bottled by Signatory.
ABV: 61.0%

Region: Speyside

Volume: 750.0 ML

The Balmenach Distillery

As is predominant of Inver House Distillers, the traditional machinery and methods are still used to this day at the Balmenach Distillery. This includes a cast iron mash tun mashing slightly more than 8 tonnes every 7.5 hours. The wash is fermented in six douglas fir washbacks for a minimum of 50 hours before it is sent to the stillhouse for distillation.

The stillhouse comprises of three wash stills and three spirit stills capable producing over 2 million litres of whisky a year. This sprit travels slowly through 90 metres of copper tube coils in large tubs of cold water, known as "worm tubs", before it enters one of the two spirit safes in the stillhouse. There it is transferred to one of two spirit vats. The smaller of these being used for the filling of casks on site to then be matured in oak casks for many years until the spirit is deemed at its best for bottling.

The Balmenach Distillery does not offer a visitor centre or tour guides. However, you can still call ahead and see whether you can arrange a time to stop by and visit. Tel: +44 (01)479 872569