Whisky Magazine Issue 65
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Ardmore and Glendronach have much in common but at the moment their experiences are very different. Dominic Roskrow visited both
They are blood brothers, sharing a common geography and history; close cousins with a (not so) common uncle.
Misfit distilleries operating on the furthest borders of Speyside, close to Scotland's blessed region but adamantly not part of it, despite what some writers say. And both are traditionally producers of maverick malts.
Glendronach and Ardmore. Two criminally neglected distilleries which produce fine, and in certain circles, much-loved Highland malts.
Two distilleries that have worked side by side but independently, their development intrinsically linked Now though, that's all starting to change.
And like the West End musical Blood Brothers, fate has intervened to guarantee that for the time at least their paths are going on very separate routes, one uncertain and directionless, the other ever upwards.
The shared uncle is William Teacher and for 45 years the two distilleries were part of the same company and produced the bulk of the malt in Teacher's Highland Cream. But the association goes back much further, to the 19th century. And the change in fortunes for the two of them began when that relationship was ripped apart with the Allied break up, and Ardmore went with Teacher's in to the stable of Beam Global, leaving Glendronach to await its future.
Glendronach is the older of the two, and helped give birth to Ardmore. Founded in 1826 it would work closely with the Teacher family and would eventually provide the first distiller for Ardmore, which was built by Wil...