Whisky Magazine Issue 66
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In the latest of our series Gavin D Smithlooks at the history behind Convalmore
Some Scottish whisky-producing regions such as the Lowlands and Campbeltown have been decimated over the years, but the malt-making heartland of Speyside has escaped comparatively unscathed. This has much to do with the fact that from the late 19th century onwards, with blended whisky taking the world by storm, Speyside malts came to be at the heart of virtually every blend on the market.
Of the 33 Scottish distilleries constructed during the last decade of the 19th century, no fewer than 21 were located on Speyside, and a dozen entirely new distilleries within the Speyside designation have been built since the Second World War. While a few distilleries such as Coleburn, Parkmore and Pityvaich have been lost forever, others like Allt à Bhainne, Benriach, Benromach and Tamnavulin have weathered periods of closure to become productive once again.
Dufftown has long been regarded as the ‘malt whisky capital' of Scotland, and the historic Speyside town is home to six working distilleries, including the three William Grant & Sons' plants of Glenfiddich, Kininvie and Balvenie.
Adjoining the Balvenie site is the now silent Convalmore, the fourth distillery to be built in Dufftown. The Convalmore-Glenlivet Distillery Co Ltd was established in 1893 by the Glasgow blending firm of Peter Dawson Ltd, and distilling began in February the following year. Confidence in the Scotch whisky industry was sky high at the time.
The distilling bubble was soon to burst in spectacular fashion, ...