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Issue 94 - Park No More

Whisky Magazine Issue 94
March 2011

 

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Park No More

Gavin D. Smith looks at one of the victims of the Speyside 18090 boom

As regular readers will know, Speyside was at the heart of the late Victorian whisky ‘boom,' with no fewer than 21 new distilleries being constructed there during the last decade of the 19th century.

Of these, virtually all survived until the 1980s, when a number were closed to rectify the prevailing problem of over-supply.

However, one distillery in the Speyside area that was born out of the boom failed much earlier, though looking at its intact and well preserved buildings today you could easily be forgiven for believing distilling continues to take place there. The distillery in question is Parkmore, which stands beside the Dufftown to Keith road, on the north-eastern outskirts of Scotland's ‘malt whisky capital.' Parkmore was established by the Parkmore Distillery Company, with the first spirit flowing in 1894, and it was the fifth distillery to be constructed in Dufftown, after Mortlach, Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Convalmore.

The first manager at Parkmore was George Smith, whose brother John had been responsible for the creation of Cragganmore distillery.

After John Smith's death in 1886, George acted as a trustee of Cragganmore, and much of the distillery's output was purchased by the Dundee blenders James Watson & Co, who owned the popular No. 10 blended whisky brand.

By 1900, as the effects of overproduction and the devastating collapse of the blenders and distillers Pattison Ltd began to hit home, Parkmore struggled financially, and was acquired by James Wats...

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