The story of BenRiach is typical of the great Speyside distilleries. Built in 1898, the distillery is sited amongst the rolling barley fields that rise to the foothills of the Grampian Mountains. The barley used in crafting the whisky was grown around the distillery and the water was, and still is, drawn through the rock that lies deep below the distillery. The barley, harvested from the fields surrounding the distillery, would be spread across the floors of the malting loft to germinate. Peat, cut from the hills, fired the kiln and produced the heat required to control the germination process, and the distinctive peat scented smoke would be seen curling upwards from the malting chimneys throughout the year. The distillery manager would oversee the slow and deliberate crafting process of The BenRiach whisky – managing the transformation from malted barley to wash, to distilled spirit and into high quality oak casks, in which the whisky would then mature. This was the beginning of the The BenRiach story.
The BenRiach Distillery is built by John Duff on the same site as the Longmorn Distillery. The 1890s represented a real boom period in distillery development as 33 new distilleries were built, 21 of which were located in Speyside.
In response to a need for a small quantity of peated malts in selected blends, in addition to the regular, non-peated distillation, production of peated malt whisky begins at BenRiach. Since taking over the distillery in 2004, we have continued to distil both styles of BenRiach; peated and non-peated.
For the first time in its history The BenRiach is released as a single malt brand in its own right. The whisky is bottled at 10 years old, and is included as part of the Seagrams ‘Heritage Collection’ along with Strathisla, Glenkeith and Longmorn. Annual bottling is limited to a few hundred cases, and the BenRiach 10 Years Old, characterised by its understated pale-blue label, is somewhat or a rarity and particularly difficult to get hold of.
The BenRiach Distillery Company was named Global Whisky Distiller of the Year at the 2015 Icons of Whisky Awards. A fantastic achievement for a small privately-owned independent company to win this prestigious global award.