Miltonduff text logo on white background

Miltonduff Distillery

  • Scotland
Phone Number
  • +44 1343 554120
  • Lochiepots Rd, Elgin IV30 8TG, United Kingdom

Signage for Miltonduff Distillery, landscape in the background.

History of Miltonduff Distillery

Founding and Early Years

The Miltonduff Distillery, nestled in Speyside, Scotland, commenced operations in 1824. This establishment by Andrew Peary and Robert Bain coincided with the legalisation of whisky production post the Excise Act.

The distillery’s site was historically linked to an illicit distillery named ‘Milton’, and the Duff family, who owned the estate, hence the name ‘Miltonduff’​​​​.

Expansion and Development

By the end of the 19th century, Miltonduff had grown to become one of Scotland’s largest whisky producers, noted for its unique triple distillation process, which was uncommon for distilleries in the Highland/Speyside region. This period saw extensive renovations and expansions under the ownership of William Stuart, who purchased the distillery in 1866​​​​.

Mid-20th Century Changes

The distillery experienced significant changes in 1936 when Canadian distiller Hiram Walker acquired it, marking the start of its expansion in Scotland. This acquisition led to the installation of ‘Lomond’ stills in 1964 for the production of a malt whisky named Mosstowie. However, the production of Mosstowie ceased in 1981 due to maintenance difficulties and increased demand for Miltonduff’s main product​​​​.

Modern Era

In 2005, Miltonduff became part of Chivas Brothers under Pernod Ricard. Its capacity was substantially increased in a major expansion in 1974, and by 2017, the distillery released a 15-year-old single malt under the Ballantine’s brand. Today, the distillery has an impressive capacity of approximately 5.9 million litres per annum​​​​.

Production and Whisky Characteristics

Miltonduff primarily contributes to the production of Ballantine’s blended whisky, with only a small portion of its production bottled as single malt. These single malt versions are commonly found in bottlings by independent bottlers like Gordon & MacPhail. 

The whisky from Miltonduff is known for its mild, floral flavour, typical of Speyside, often accompanied by notes of peat, spice, and vanilla. Notable characteristics include a variety of flavours such as oak, chocolate, nuts, sherry, malt, and citrus, contributing to its unique taste profile​​​​.

Miltonduff Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Overview and Location

Miltonduff Distillery, established in 1824, is situated near Pluscarden Abbey in the Speyside region of Scotland. It stands out as one of the first distilleries in Scotland to receive a legal distilling licence. The distillery is located approximately 2 miles southwest of Elgin, Moray, offering an intriguing mix of historical and modern whisky-making processes​​​​​​.

Distillery Tours

  • Availability: Tours are offered from September to June and require advance booking. The distillery operates a reception centre to welcome visitors.
  • Tour Experience: Visitors have the opportunity to explore the grounds, learn about the distillery’s history, and understand the intricate process of whisky-making. The distillery combines traditional methods with state-of-the-art technology, contributing to the unique character of its whiskies.
  • Tasting Opportunities: After the tour, guests can sample some of the distillery’s award-winning whiskies, such as the popular Miltonduff 12 Year Old and the rarer Miltonduff 18 Year Old.

Additional Activities

Miltonduff offers whisky-making classes and tasting events, providing an in-depth look at the whisky-making process and the chance to taste various whiskies.

  • Visitor Center: The visitor centre features interactive exhibits, educational activities, and a shop where visitors can purchase Miltonduff whiskies and other products​​​​​​.

Production Insights

  • Capacity: Miltonduff has a significant production capacity of around 5.8 million litres per year.
  • Pot Stills: The distillery uses six pot stills, including three wash stills (each with an 18,000 litre capacity) and three spirit stills (each with a 17,500 litre capacity).

Unique Aspects

Historically, Miltonduff also produced another single malt called Mosstowie using Lomond stills, although this production ceased in 1981. The distillery was the first to extract and divert carbon dioxide gas from the fermentation process.

Maltings and Warehouse: The malt used for production is sourced from an industrial provider in Speyside. The distillery has a comprehensive warehouse complex where the Single Malts are aged in a combination of American white oak and Sherry casks​​​​​​.

Flask & Barrel Review of Miltonduff Distillery

As a bit of a whisky connoisseur who’s seen more than a fair share of distilleries, I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Miltonduff Distillery. I’ve got to say, it was quite an experience.

First off, the location is a treat for the eyes. Nestled in the heart of Speyside, the distillery is surrounded by the kind of lush greenery that you’d expect in a postcard. It’s an absolute visual delight.

The tour itself was insightful. The guides are not just knowledgeable but also have a passion for their craft that’s genuinely infectious. They delve into the history and the unique distilling process of Miltonduff, which, for someone who appreciates the finer details, was a real treat.

Speaking of treats, the tasting session was the highlight for me. The range of flavours in their whiskies is impressive. Each dram was a reflection of the distillery’s character – rich, smooth, and with just the right amount of complexity.

Their signature malt, with its subtle hints of spice and fruit, stood out for me. It’s a fine example of what Speyside whisky is all about.

The only slight downside, if I had to pick one, was the size of the tasting room. It felt a bit snug when the group got larger. But honestly, that’s nitpicking in an otherwise superb experience.

So, to wrap it up, Miltonduff Distillery is a must-visit for any whisky enthusiast. It combines scenic beauty with rich historical depth and, of course, excellent whisky. I left with a few bottles myself and a deeper appreciation for the art of whisky making. Solid 4.7 out of 5 from me.

What To Do Nearby Miltonduff Distillery

Speyside Cooperage: Learn about the craft of making and repairing casks, an essential part of the whisky industry, at the Speyside Cooperage in Craigellachie. Tours are available to see coopers in action.

Dufftown Distilleries Walk: For those who prefer not to drive, this walking tour includes 9 distilleries in Dufftown, providing whisky tastings and insights into the whisky industry.

Public Art in Tomintoul: Enjoy the ‘Still’ sculpture by Angus Ritchie near Tomintoul, showcasing mirrored surfaces that reflect the scenic surroundings.

Drive the Snow Roads: A 90-mile scenic drive through the heart of the Cairngorms, offering stunning views and interesting stops like The Watchers and Corgarff Castle.

Craigellachie Bridge: Explore this historic bridge designed by Thomas Telford, now accessible on foot and offering a picturesque view of the River Spey.

Ben Aigan Hike: Enjoy a hike or a mountain bike ride through the forest plantations on the slopes of Ben Aigan, offering beautiful views.

Local Shops in Aberlour: Visit the Spey Larder for local delicatessen and whisky, along with other boutique shops in Aberlour.

Speyside Castles: Explore various castles in the region, such as Ballindalloch Castle, Balvenie Castle, Auchindoun Castle, and Corgarff Castle.

Glenlivet Dark Sky Park: Experience stargazing at one of the Dark Sky Park’s Discovery Sites, perfect for observing constellations, shooting stars, and possibly the northern lights.

Fairy Village in Dufftown: Discover the Fairy Village on a hike to the Giant’s Chair, featuring miniature houses and a whisky distillery.

Hike the Speyside Way: This long-distance path offers a journey through the Speyside area, following the route of the old railway line and passing through various distilleries and natural beauty spots.

Whisky Art: Visit the Artist’s Studio in Aberlour for whisky-related artwork, including whisky scented soaps and jewellery made from whisky staves and resin.

The Water of Life: Explore the streams and springs of Speyside, feeding the local distilleries, with walks near the Giant’s Chair and the Victorian Gardens at Glen Grant distillery.

Barrels of Fun: Experience the ancient art of cask making at the Speyside Cooperage, the only working cooperage in the UK where you can see cask making first hand.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Miltonduff Distillery?

Scribbles: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can contact them on their phone at +441343542835. Their address is 152-154 High St.

Pizzeria Toscana: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441343551066. Their address is 20 Thunderton Pl.

The Bearded Chef: It has a rating of 4.8 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can contact them on their phone at +441343200240. Their address is 104 South St.

What hotels are near Miltonduff Distillery?

Premier Inn Elgin: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can contact them on their phone at +443337777926. Their address is 15 Linkwood Way, Elgin IV30 1HY, United Kingdom.

The Mansfield: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can contact them on their phone at +441343540883. Their address is Mansefield House Hotel, 2 Mayne Rd, Elgin IV30 1NY, United Kingdom.

Travelodge Elgin Hotel: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can contact them on their phone at +448719846560. Their address is 5 Coxton Park, A96, Elgin IV30 8AZ, United Kingdom.