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Issue 71 - Silent all these years

Whisky Magazine Issue 71
April 2008

 

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Silent all these years

Gavin D Smithinvestigates the fortunes of Glen Grant No.2 distillery,also known as Caperdonich

Unlike virtually all the distilleries featured in this series so far,Caperdonich is not a truly ‘lost' distillery. It remains essentially intact,both externally and internally, but the chances of it making whisky again are remote.

Caperdonich was established in 1897 at the height of the Victorian Scotch whisky boom by J&G Grant of nearby Glen Grant distillery in the Speyside distilling town of Rothes (see p.47). It was designed to supplement the output of Glen Grant and was named ‘Glen Grant No. 2 Distillery.' It was originally connected to its older sibling by what was known locally as ‘the whisky pipe,'which carried new make spirit across the main road for filling.This allowed the people of Rothes to boast that their streets flowed with whisky! Legend has it that they were also not above drilling holes into the pipe to divert spirit for their own purposes.

As regular readers of this series will already know, the good times were not to last,however, and the collapse of the firm of Pattison's Ltd in 1898 precipitated a crisis in the Scotch whisky industry, brought about by over-production and overly optimistic speculation.

Glen Grant No.2 was one of several distillery casualties, and it closed in 1902.According to Dennis Malcolm, current manager of Glen Grant and formerly manager of Caperdonich:“The ‘whisky pipe'was still there until the 1980s, although it was never used again after the distillery shut down in 1902.” The next boom period for Scotch whisky disti...

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