Benrinnes Distillery

  • Scotland
Phone Number
  • +441340871215
  • Aberlour, Banffshire, AB38 9NN, Scotland

benrinnes distillery

History of Benrinnes Distillery

Establishment and Early Challenges

The Benrinnes Distillery, situated in the heart of Speyside, began its journey in 1826. Founded by Peter MacKenzie, the distillery was initially constructed at Whitehouse Farm, near the base of the Ben Rinnes mountain. However, a devastating flood in 1829 destroyed the original buildings, prompting a relocation and reconstruction by John Innes just a mile away from the initial site.

Ownership Transitions and Modernisation

Throughout the 19th century, Benrinnes faced several financial challenges, including bankruptcy of its owners. It was eventually acquired by David Edward, who also owned the Oban Distillery. Under Edward’s stewardship, the distillery underwent significant modernisation, especially after a fire in 1896 caused extensive damage. The distillery’s legacy was further cemented when John Dewar & Sons took ownership in 1922, integrating it into what would eventually become Diageo.

Evolution of Distillation Practices

One of the distinctive features of Benrinnes was its partial triple distillation process, initiated in the 1970s. This unique approach, which was simplified in recent years, contributed to the distillery’s rich and meaty character, distinguishing it from its peers. However, in 2007, Benrinnes abandoned this complex method in favour of a more traditional double distillation process, while maintaining its six stills to continue its legacy of producing rich and flavourful malts.

Current Status and Contribution

Today, Benrinnes continues to be an active and vital part of Diageo’s portfolio, contributing significantly to blended whiskies such as Johnnie Walker and J&B. Despite the distillery’s focus on blends, it does release its own single malt expressions, most notably through the Flora and Fauna series with a 15-year-old semi-official bottling since 1991. The distillery’s production capacity has seen a significant increase, with its output currently around 2.5 million litres per year, up from 1.9 million litres before the production process change in 2007.

Unique Characteristics

Benrinnes is renowned for its robust and full-bodied whiskies, achieved through its historical triple distillation process and the use of worm tubs for condensation. The distillery’s water sources, including the Rowan Tree Burn and the Benrinnes Spring, along with its specific pot still configuration, contribute to the distinctive character of its whisky, which can range from light and floral to spicy and robust depending on the expression.

Benrinnes Distillery’s history is a story of resilience and innovation. From its challenging beginnings through floods and fires to its current status as a key player in the Scotch whisky industry, Benrinnes has maintained a commitment to quality and character. While primarily contributing to blends, its limited single malt releases are highly valued by connoisseurs, showcasing the unique spirit of this Speyside distillery​​​​​​​​.

What To Do Nearby Benrinnes Distillery

Climb Ben Rinnes: The highest freestanding mountain in Moray, Ben Rinnes, offers spectacular views across Speyside. The ascent is a moderate 5-mile (8 km) round trip, taking about 3 hours. The path is well-defined, making it a rewarding challenge for walkers seeking breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscapes​​.

Visit Ballindalloch Castle and Gardens: Located about 9 miles from Benrinnes Distillery, this historic site features beautiful gardens and the castle, known as the ‘Pearl of the North’​​.

Explore The Glenlivet Distillery: Approximately 14 miles from Benrinnes, The Glenlivet offers insights into the production of one of Scotland’s most famous whiskies, complete with tastings and tours​​.

Ride The Whisky Line – Keith & Dufftown Railway: This scenic railway, around 15 miles from Benrinnes, provides a unique way to view the Speyside countryside, often referred to as the ‘Whisky Line’ for its proximity to numerous distilleries​​.

Discover the Speyside Cooperage Visitor Centre: Just over 10 miles from the distillery, this visitor centre lets you witness the ancient craft of coopering, where you can see barrels being made and repaired​​.

Visit Linn Falls: For a more relaxed activity, the Linn Falls offer a peaceful setting just around 6 miles away, where you can enjoy the serene sound of water and beautiful natural scenery​​.

Balvenie Castle: Roughly 13 miles from Benrinnes, explore the ruins of Balvenie Castle, offering a glimpse into Scotland’s medieval past​​.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Benrinnes Distillery?

Plum Garden: It has a rating of 4.7 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +44 1340 871617. Their address is The Square, Aberlour AB38 9PX, United Kingdom.

The Gather’n Café: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +44 1340 881749. Their address is The Gather’n Cafe, 89 High St, Aberlour AB38 9QB, United Kingdom.

Aberlour Takeaway: Although it has a rating of 4.1 stars on Google Maps. For more information, you can reach out to them on their phone at +44 1340 871871. Their address is inspect bank of scotland, 92 High St, Aberlour AB38 9QA, United Kingdom.

What hotels are near Benrinnes Distillery?

Travelodge Elgin Hotel: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +44 871 984 6560. Their address is 5 Coxton Park, A96, Elgin IV30 8AZ, United Kingdom.

The Station Hotel: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +44 1340 832200. Their address is 51 New St, Rothes, Aberlour AB38 7BJ, United Kingdom.

Commercial Hotel Dufftown: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +44 1340 820313. Their address is 4 Church St, Dufftown, Keith AB55 4AR, United Kingdom.