Inchgower Distillery

  • Scotland

Aerial view of Inchgower Distillery in rural landscape.

Name: Inchgower Distillery
Address: Inchgower Distillery, Buckie Moray, AB56 5AB, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 1542 836700


History of Inchgower Distillery

InchGower Distillery, founded in 1871 by Alexander Wilson, is significant in Scottish whisky history. Located in Speyside, a region renowned for its whisky production, InchGower quickly established itself with distinctive characteristics that set its spirits apart.

Under Wilson’s guidance, the distillery’s initial years were marked by expansion and success. However, financial difficulties in the early 20th century led to a unique turn of events in 1936, when the local town council acquired the distillery to prevent its closure.

This rare instance of municipal ownership in the whisky industry highlights the distillery’s importance to the local community. In 1938, the distillery was purchased by Arthur Bell & Sons for £3,000, bringing stability and new direction.

This acquisition was a pivotal moment, as InchGower became a vital component of Bell’s blends, known for their ‘nutty-spicy’ flavour profile. The distillery’s production primarily focused on contributing to these popular blends.

InchGower’s journey continued through the 20th century as it underwent several ownership changes. It became part of Guinness when the company absorbed Bell’s, and later transitioned to Diageo following Guinness’s acquisition of DCL. These changes reflect the broader consolidation trends in the whisky industry.

As for the whisky itself, InchGower is known for producing a range of single malt whiskies characterised by their rich and complex flavour profiles. The distillery’s spirits often balance sweet, fruity, and spicy notes, with a distinctive nuttiness that is a hallmark of their production.

Additionally, InchGower whiskies are occasionally noted for varying degrees of salinity, a characteristic influenced by the distillery’s coastal location.

InchGower is also included in Diageo’s Flora & Fauna range, showcasing the diversity and uniqueness of single malts from various distilleries. The inclusion in this range underscores the distillery’s reputation for producing high-quality, distinct whiskies.

Furthermore, independent bottlers occasionally release InchGower’s single malts, offering whisky enthusiasts unique expressions that differ from the distillery’s standard releases. These independent bottlings often highlight aspects of InchGower’s whisky, providing connoisseurs with a broader spectrum of flavours and experiences.

In summary, InchGower Distillery, with its rich history and contribution to the Scottish whisky landscape, continues to be celebrated for its unique single malts and its integral role in producing some of the world’s most renowned blended whiskies.

Awards Won by Inchgower Distillery

  • Inchgower 1982, 29 Years Old: This expression received an overall score of 7.1 from Whisky Magazine, indicating a positive reception​​.
  • Berrys’ Own Selection 1980: This Inchgower bottling was highly regarded, receiving an overall score of 8.2 from Whisky Magazine, showcasing its quality and intense relationship with its sherry cask​​.
  • Various Ratings by Whiskybase: Whiskybase has listed multiple Inchgower whiskies with high ratings. For example, the Inchgower 1974 and 1980 bottlings received scores of 89.28 and 87.90 respectively. Other expressions from different years also garnered favourable ratings, reflecting the distillery’s consistent quality over various vintages​​.
  • Other Notable Mentions: Various expressions of Inchgower have been noted for their distinct profiles in tastings, such as the Inchgower 35 yo 1980 (scored 90/100) and the Inchgower 38 yo 1975 (scored 90/100) by WhiskyNotes​.

Inchgower Distillery Tour Information and Experience

The Inchgower Distillery, while rich in history and producing distinct Speyside malt whiskies, unfortunately, does not offer tours to the public. This information is essential for whisky enthusiasts and tourists visiting the distillery.

Despite its lack of public tours, the distillery’s operations are notable. Inchgower obtains its non-smoky malt from a large-scale malting plant in Burghead and uses water from the Menduff Hills for production.

The distillery’s four pear-shaped stills contribute to the creation of its oily and characterful spirit.

For those interested in the specific details of the distillery’s operations, such as the use of a closed yeast pitching system, the fast heating of the wash still to ensure the signature nuttiness, and the maturation process in a mix of sherry and ex-bourbon barrels, further information can be found in various sources.

However, for an in-person experience, the distillery itself remains inaccessible for tours.

What To Do Nearby Inchgower Distillery

  • Buckie and District Fishing Heritage Centre: This is a must-visit for anyone interested in the local fishing industry’s history. The centre is filled with exciting exhibits and knowledgeable volunteers who bring the story of Buckie’s fishing heritage to life.
  • The Craigmin Bridge: For some outdoor adventure, take a lovely walk through the fairy forest to this unusual bridge. It’s an excellent spot for a stroll and to enjoy some unique architecture.
  • Sunnyside Beach: Located between Cullen and Sandend, this beach offers stunning views and is an excellent spot for wildlife watching. You might even spot dolphins, otters, or ospreys!
  • Crannoch-hill Loch: If you enjoy hikes and nature, this is a perfect spot. You can enjoy various routes that offer beautiful views of the surrounding areas, including Cullen, The Bin, and more.
  • Golfing: For golf enthusiasts, there are some courses nearby, like Buckpool and Strathlene Golf Clubs, where you can enjoy a round in a scenic setting.
  • Wildlife Watching: The Moray Coast is known for its abundant wildlife. The mouth of Spey Bay is particularly good for spotting dolphins, otters, and ospreys.
  • Bow Fiddle Rock: Near Portknockie, this stunning rock formation is a sight to behold and offers fantastic photo opportunities, especially for nature lovers.
  • Speyside Way: Starting (or ending) in Buckie, this long-distance footpath is ideal for those who love long walks while taking in the region’s scenic beauty.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Inchgower Distillery?

  • Bengal Brasserie Buckie: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441542835856. Their address is 5a Cluny Square, Buckie AB56 1AH, United Kingdom.
  • The Fry Inn: It has a rating of 4.1 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441542832793. Their address is 6-8 E Church St, Buckie AB56 1AE, United Kingdom.
  • Le Cafe Coull: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441542835400. Their address is 25 W Church St, Buckie AB56 1BN, United Kingdom. 

What hotels are near Inchgower Distillery?

  • Brig & Barrel: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441542780625. Their address is 75 W Church St, Buckie AB56 1BQ, United Kingdom.
  • Struan House: It has a rating of 4.8 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441542832925. Their address is Struan House, 15 Cluny Square, Buckie AB56 1HA, United Kingdom.
  • Victoria Hotel: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441542840478. Their address is 1 Victoria St, Portknockie, Buckie AB56 4LQ, United Kingdom.