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Issue 64 - Highland survivor (Millburn)

Whisky Magazine Issue 64
June 2007


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Highland survivor (Millburn)

In the latest of our series Gavin D Smith investigates another gem

Until the 1980s, the Highland capital of Inverness boasted three working distilleries, but today two have vanished without trace, while the third survives in the form of a restaurant and bar.

That survivor is Millburn, while Gen Albyn and Glen Mhor are lost beneath the tarmac and concrete of a retail park.

Millburn was the oldest of the trio of Inverness distilleries, dating from 1805, when it was established by a Mr Welsh under the name Inverness Distillery. It was constructed a mile from the centre of the town, close to the main road to Elgin, and subsequently passed through several sets of hands before being acquired in 1853 by David Rose, an Inverness corn merchant who used the distillery as a mill. However, in 1876 the plant was rebuilt and began to make whisky once again two years later, being taken over by Rose's son, George, in 1881. By that time the distillery had secured a sufficiently high reputation to win a lucrative contract to supply whisky to the British military garrison on Cyprus.

In 1892 Andrew Haig & Co purchased the plant, going on to rename it Millburn in 1904.

Booth's Distillery Ltd, best known for their London gin, bought Millburn from Haig in 1921, and the following year, the distillery suffered a serious fire.

The blaze, in April 1922, was extinguished with the help of troops from nearby Cameron Barracks. Interestingly, the 3rd Battalion Cameron Highlanders who took part in this mission was led by none other than Lieutenant-Colonel David Price-H...

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