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Speyburn Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Rothes, Moray AB38 7AG Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)1340 831 213 / Fax: +44 (0)1340 831678
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Speyburn 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky / Photo Courtesy of Speyburn DistilleryBuilt on the site of an old gallows, the Speyburn Distillery was founded in 1897 by John Hopkins and Co., who at the time also owned the Tobermory Distillery on Mull. Speyburn Single Highland Malt Scotch whisky was first produced on the 15th December 1897, the diamond jubilee year of Queen Victoria. The founders were determined that whisky would be produced to mark the Jubilee year of Queen Victoria, and workers in heavy overcoats toiled through a blizzard on the night of the last day of the year, in a stillhouse without doors or windows to ensure that one single barrel of 1897 vintage Speyburn was made.

John Hopkins sold the distillery in 1916 to DCL, and from 1939 to 1947, the distillery was temporarily closed when the site was used to house two Scottish Artillery regiments during the war.

Although no longer in use, Speyburn is the only distillery in Scotland to retain 'drum maltings', and is also one of the very few distilleries to use traditional 'worm tubs' to condense the spirit vapour in to liquid, adding complexity to the final product.

Situated in the famous Speyside region of the Scottish Highlands, Speyburn is also the only distillery to use the fresh spring water of the Granty Burn, one of the major tributaries of the River Spey which is famed for its purity and for world-class salmon fishing. It is this soft Speyside water that is acknowledged as a distinctive characteristic in the unique flavour and bouquet of this single malt.

The Speyburn Distillery is owned by Inver House Distillers - a significant producer of quality malt Scotch whisky within the Industry.

Courtesy of Speyburn Distillery


Speyburn 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch
2006 World Spirits Competition, San Francisco - Gold

Alc/Vol. 40%

Nose: Fresh, clean and aromatic with a rich lemony fruitiness.

Colour: Pale gold with amber highlights.

Taste: Medium-bodied with a delicate, fruity character and a dry, warm, peaty finish.


Tasting notes by Speyburn Distillery


Speyburn Solera 25 Year Old Sing Malt Scotch Whisky
Alc/Vol. 46%

Nose: Full, quite rich, soft oaky vanilla with a little smokiness and a mild peaty overtone.

Colour: Rich golden with bronze highlights.

Taste: Medium full bodied, round and rich with a touch of toffee, a warm lasting finish and an edge of sweetness on the tail.


Tasting notes by Speyburn Distillery

Speyburn Whisky Distillery
Speyburn Distillery / Photo Courtesy of Speyburn Distillery

Often described as the most photographed distillery in Scotland, Speyburn Distillery sits nestling in a valley on the northern edge of Rothes. There is a timeless feel and an air of serenity - the type of place whisky was meant to be made.

The distillery has a compact layout, due mainly to the geography of the land. The architect, Charles Doig, designed the distillery using height as opposed to width. The unique drum maltings occupy a smaller area than a conventional floor maltings and other buildings, including the cask warehouses, are on two or three levels.

Very little has changed over the last 100 years with most of the original features still intact - indeed still being used, although the maltings are no longer in production. Once milled the grist and hot water is transferred to a traditional rake mash tun from which 25,000 litres of wort is pumped into Douglas Fir wash backs. The still room has never been extended and houses a single pair of stills. True to form the alcohol vapours are condensed using over 100 metres of copper pipe emerged in cold water worm tubs.

Although 80% of Speyburn is tankered away to be filled at Inverhouse's headquarters at Airdrie, the remaining spirit is filled into cask and stored in one of two warehouses for single malt use. Both have two floors and use wooden rails and tables to store casks two and three high.

Malting: When the Speyburn Distillery was designed, the decision was taken to install 'Henning's Pneumatic Drum Maltings'. There were a number of benefits: less space required; less manual work (no malt to turn) and the maltings could operate all year round.

The maltings were set out on three levels. The barley was stored on the top level before being passed down into one of the three steeps on the middle floor. One steep then filled two germination drums which slowly revolved to stop the rootlets matting together. After several days the green malt was transferred to the kiln for drying. Again the Speyburn maltings were slightly different - there were two drying floors, one above the other. Green malt was "pre-dried" on the top floor before being dropped down onto the bottom floor. Speyburn was the first malt distillery to have this type of maltings, although Glen Grant and St Magdalene Distilleries subsequently had drum maltings installed.

The drum maltings at Speyburn are the only remaining examples. They ceased operation in 1967.

Fermentation: Although the maltings are no longer in production, our malt is still stored in the original 4 wooden malt hoppers. Once milled into 'grist', the malt is mixed with hot water in a traditional rake 'mash tun'. The liquid extracted during the mashing (known as 'wort') is then transferred to Douglas Fir fermentation vessels (called 'wash backs') where the yeast is added which causes fermentation and creates alcohol.

Distillation: The still house at Speyburn has never been extended and houses a single pair of stills. These stills are relatively small, with wide necks which help capture the maximum amount of flavour and character. In 1962 Speyburn's stills converted to indirect steam heating from coal-fired.

As a very traditional distillery, Speyburn features 'worm tub' condensers to cool the distilled spirit vapour back into liquid. These worm tubs are 100-meter long copper tubes, and their use contributes to the unique features of Speyburn spirit - a rich, rounded aroma with hints of spice and a nutty oiliness.

Maturation Speyburn single malt sits quietly maturing in one of two traditional 'dunnage' style warehouses. Unusually, these warehouses have two floors, using a system of wooden rails, tables and lifts to store casks two and three high.

This style of warehouse ensures high levels of humidity, which, like fine wine, is the optimum atmosphere for the maturation of fine Single Malt whisky.

Courtesy of Speyburn Distillery