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Issue 143 - Home Of The World's Best Single Malt

Whisky Magazine Issue 143
June 2017


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Home Of The World's Best Single Malt

The story of Craigellachie Distillery

For many generations of Speyside residents, Craigellachie was usually known as ‘The White Horse Distillery', due to the prominent blended Scotch branded logo that adorned its frontage.

This nickname was entirely appropriate, for Craigellachie was an archetypal example of the raft of sizeable distilleries that grew up on Speyside during the latter decades of the 19th Century, all dedicated to the greater good of fuelling global blends like the aforementioned White Horse. Single malt was a niche product, principally enjoyed by locals.

In the case of Craigellachie – also known as ‘The Craig' – that view persisted until only a few years ago. However, the current 31 Years Old expression's achievement of being crowned World's Best Single Malt in Whisky Magazine's 2017 World Whiskies Awards, proves in decisive fashion that once consumers got the opportunity to sample the product, quality and character were there in abundance. But more of that later.

Craigellachie had all the hallmarks of a classic late Victorian Speyside distillery. It was designed by the Elgin-based doyen of distillery architects, Charles Doig, and was part-owned by Peter Mackie (of White Horse fame) and local distillery entrepreneur Alexander Edward, a landowner who went on to build Aultmore and own Benrinnes, as well as developing Benromach and Dallas Dhu distilleries on his Sanquhar Estate, near Forres.

The distillery was established during 1890/91 under the auspices of the Craigellachie Distillery ...

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