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Issue 114 - The last stills of Brechin

Whisky Magazine Issue 114
September 2013


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The last stills of Brechin

Of all the many pieces of legislation that have served to stimulate or supress the Scotch whisky trade, none has been more influential than the 1824 Excise Act, which made legal distillation more lucrative by reducing levels of duty and ultimately shaped the industry we know today.

Not surprisingly, in the wake of the Excise Act many new distilleries sprung up around Scotland, and from 125 operational sites in 1823, the total rose to a remarkable 329 two years later. One of those 329 was Glencadam, established in the historic Angus town of Brechin during 1825 by George Cooper.

After changing hands a number of times the distillery was purchased by Gilmour Thomson & Co Ltd in 1891, and the Glasgow blending company owned it until 1954. In that year it was acquired by Hiram Walker (Scotland) Ltd, who undertook a major reconstruction programme five years later.

Through a series of takeovers, Glencadam came into the possession of Allied Lyons in 1987, with Allied Lyons later becoming Allied Domecq.

Allied operated Glencadam – the only distillery left in Brechin after the closure of North Port in 1983 – until deeming it surplus to requirements in 2000.

Three years later, the silent distillery was purchased by London-based blending company Angus Dundee Distillers plc, and thereby came under the care of Distilleries Director Robert Fleming, who also presides over Tomintoul distillery (see WM 110) and is passionate about the heritage of the Scotch whisky industry.

“Angus Du...

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