Speyburn single malt Scotch whisky logo.

Speyburn Distillery

  • Scotland
  • New York International Spirits Competition 2016 and 2017, San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2016 and 2017, International Spirits Challenge 2016 and 2017
  • https://www.speyburn.com/
Phone Number
  • +447977706676
  • Speyburn Distillery, North St, Rothes, Aberlour AB38 7AG, United Kingdom

Speyburn Distillery building exterior in Scotland.


History of Speyburn Distillery

Founded in 1897 by John Hopkins, Speyburn Distillery is a renowned Scottish single malt Scotch whisky producer. Located in the Speyside region, known for its pure, mineral-rich waters, the distillery has a rich heritage tied closely to its natural surroundings.

The Founding and Vision of John Hopkins

John Hopkins, already a successful whisky merchant, was drawn to the Speyside region by its clean and mineral-rich waters. His vision was to create the finest golden scotch. Hopkins discovered the ideal location near the Granty Burn, a freshwater tributary of the River Spey, famed for its exceptionally pure water.

Architectural Innovation and Distillery Design

The distillery’s construction in a secluded valley presented unique challenges. Hopkins collaborated with the renowned architect Charles C. Doig to design a distillery that harmoniously integrated with the landscape. This innovative design included a three-level structure to fit the steep valley topography and the iconic pagoda ventilator.

The First Batch and Historical Milestones

Under immense challenges, including severe Arctic storms, Hopkins and his team managed to produce the first batch of Speyburn Single Malt Scotch Whisky in December 1897, in time to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. This achievement marked the beginning of the distillery’s legacy.

Expansion and Modernization

Over the years, Speyburn Distillery underwent several changes to enhance its production capabilities. In 1950, a significant transition occurred from using horses and carts to tractors, improving transportation efficiency. Then, in 1962, the distillery modernized its stills from coal-fired to indirect steam heating, ensuring better quality spirit production.

Embracing Change and Innovation

In 1992, Speyburn Distillery joined forces with Inver House Distillers. This partnership led to further growth and innovation. Recognizing the rising consumer interest, the distillery embarked on expansion work in 2014 to double its production capacity.

Awards Won by Speyburn Distillery

  1. New York International Spirits Competition 2016 and 2017:
    • In 2016, Speyburn was named ‘Speyside Distillery of the Year’.
    • Speyburn Bradan Orach achieved Double Gold in 2017.
    • The distillery also received Silver awards for Speyburn 10 Years Old and Speyburn Arranta Casks.
  2. San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2016 and 2017:
    • Speyburn Arranta Casks was awarded Double Gold in 2017.
    • The 10 Years Old variant received Gold in 2017.
    • Both Speyburn 10 Years Old and Speyburn Arranta Casks earned Silver in 2016.
  3. International Spirits Challenge 2016 and 2017:
    • Speyburn Arranta Casks won Gold in 2017.
    • Speyburn 10 Years Old and Speyburn Bradan Orach both received Silver in 2016 and 2017.
  4. Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2016 and 2017:
    • Speyburn Bradan Orach scored 96 points and was noted for its great value in 2016.
    • Speyburn Arranta Casks scored 94 points and was recognized for its great value in 2017.
    • The 10 Years Old variant received 89 points.
  5. IWSC 2016:
    • The distillery secured Silver awards for Speyburn 10 Years Old, Speyburn Bradan Orach, and Speyburn Arranta Casks, with the latter being noted as ‘Silver Outstanding’.
  6. Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky Scotland 2017:
    • Speyburn was honored as the Whisky Distiller of the Year.

Speyburn Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Nestled in the heart of Scotland’s renowned Speyside region, the Speyburn Distillery is a haven for whisky aficionados. Established in 1897, it’s a place where history and modernity blend seamlessly, offering visitors a chance to delve into the world of traditional whisky making.

Tour Details

Timing and Availability

  • Duration: Roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • Schedule: Available from Tuesday to Saturday, with tours at 10.30 am, 12.30 pm, and 2.30 pm.


  • Adults: £20 each.
  • Children: £10 each (Note: Suitable for ages 12 and above).

Highlights of the Tour

A Glimpse Behind the Scenes

Embark on an exploratory journey and witness the intricate operations of the distillery. This is a chance to see where the magic happens.

Historical Insights

The Old Drum Maltings is a significant stop on the tour, showcasing the distillery’s proud heritage and traditional methods.

The Art of Whisky Making

From using the pristine waters of the Granty Burn to observing the meticulous process of crafting whisky, this part of the tour is a real treat for enthusiasts.

Warehouse Discovery

Learn about the crucial maturation process with a visit to the warehouse, an essential step in crafting the Speyburn flavours.

Tasting the Speyburn Range

Conclude your tour with a delightful tasting session, sampling various Speyburn whiskies.

Souvenirs to Remember

Participants receive a complimentary Glencairn glass as a keepsake of their visit.

Tour Practicalities


  • Mobility: The tour involves stairs and open-grid flooring, which may be challenging for those with limited mobility.
  • Age Limitation: Children must be 12 or older to join the tour.

Canine Companions

Only assistance dogs are permitted, with advance notification recommended.

Booking and Cancellations


Booking is advised to ensure a spot on the tour.

Cancellation Policy

A full refund is available for cancellations made up to 72 hours before the tour.

Flask & Barrel Review of Speyburn Distillery

From the get-go, the setting of the distillery, nestled in the beautiful Speyside region, set the tone for what was to be a memorable visit. The picturesque surroundings and the charming architecture of the distillery itself are a sight to behold.

The tour was top-notch. Our guide was knowledgeable and engaging, walking us through the distillery’s rich history and the intricate process of whisky making. It’s one thing to enjoy a good dram, but understanding the craftsmanship and tradition that goes into each bottle makes it all the more special.

The highlight for me was the behind-the-scenes look at the Old Drum Maltings. As someone who appreciates the finer details, seeing the traditional Maltings building and the vintage equipment was fascinating. It gave me a deeper appreciation for the time-honoured techniques Speyburn still upholds.

Of course, the tasting session was the icing on the cake. Sampling Speyburn’s range, including the Bradan Orach, 10-year-old, and 15-year-old variants, was a delight. Each had its unique character, and I could really taste the quality and care put into every bottle.

The only minor drawback, and the reason I’m not going full 5/5, was the accessibility of the tour. Being an old building, the distillery had several flights of stairs and open-grid flooring, which might be a challenge for some visitors.

What To Do Nearby Speyburn Distillery

Glen Grant Whisky Distillery and Garden (Approximately 0.1 miles away): Just a stone’s throw from Speyburn, this distillery offers its own unique whisky experience along with beautiful gardens to explore.

Glen of Rothes Trout Fishery (Approximately 0.1 miles away): Ideal for fishing enthusiasts, this nearby trout fishery offers a serene and scenic setting.

Rothes Football Club (Approximately 0.1 miles away): If you’re a football fan, you might enjoy catching a local game at the Rothes Football Club.

Aquaplay Scotland (Approximately 0.3 miles away): For those looking for some outdoor fun, Aquaplay Scotland provides various water sports activities.

Speyside Cooperage (Approximately 3.5 miles away): A short drive from Speyburn, this cooperage gives a unique insight into the craft of barrel-making, crucial for whisky production.

Highland Caterham Hire (Approximately 5.1 miles away): For a bit of adventure, consider renting a Caterham sports car and enjoy the scenic drives around Speyside.

The GlenAllachie Distillery (Approximately 5.3 miles away): Another fantastic distillery in the area, offering insights into their specific whisky-making process.

Cardhu Distillery (Approximately 6.7 miles away): Known for its rich history and delightful single malts, a visit to Cardhu adds another layer to your whisky-tasting experience.

Speyside Tours (Approximately 6.8 miles away): They offer guided tours around the Speyside region, perfect for exploring more distilleries and local attractions.

Aberlour Distillery Brand Home (Approximately 4.5 miles away): This distillery is known for its rich-flavoured whiskies and offers engaging tours and tastings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Speyburn Distillery?

Toots: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them at +441340832200 and the address is 51 New St, Rothes, Aberlour AB38 7BJ, United Kingdom.

Scribbles: This restaurant has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them at +441343542835, and the address is 152-154 High St, Elgin IV30 1BD, United Kingdom.

Pizzeria Planta: With a rating of 4.7 stars on Google Maps, Pizzeria Planta stands out. You can contact them at +441343200210, and the address is 3 Batchen St, Elgin IV30 1BH, United Kingdom.

What hotels are near Speyburn Distillery?

The Carlton Hotel: It has a rating of 4.0 stars on Google Maps. You can reach out to them at 67 High St, Forres IV36 1AE, United Kingdom.

The Aberlour Hotel: This hotel enjoys a 4.3-star rating on Google Maps. You can contact them at +441340871287, and their address is 87 High St, Aberlour AB38 9QB, United Kingdom.

The Station Hotel: Boasting a 4.6-star rating on Google Maps, The Station Hotel is highly rated. You can contact them at +441340832200, and their address is 51 New St, Rothes, Aberlour AB38 7BJ, United Kingdom.