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Issue 95 - The Old and New

Whisky Magazine Issue 95
April 2011


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The Old and New

Gavin D. smith looks at two more lost distilleries

?In the last issue we focused on the Dufftown distillery of Parkmore, and this time around we are taking a look at two other distilleries in the north of Scotland that were born out of the great Victorian distilling boom decade of the 1890s, but, like Parkmore, failed to survive into the modern era.

The distilleries in question are Towiemore and Speyside, the former being located some five miles to the north-east of Dufftown at Botriphnie, while the latter was in Kingussie, close to the River Spey, and some 40 miles south of Inverness.

Towiemore was the brainchild of locally-born distilling entrepreneur Peter Dawson, and construction began alongside the Dufftown to Keith railway line in November 1897. The following year it was purchased by the Towiemore-Glenlivet Distillery Co Ltd. Towiemore ceased to operate during the First World War and production recommenced when hostilities ceased, the operators went into liquidation in 1930.

As was the case with so many whisky companies and distilleries that failed during the inter-war years, the Distillers Company Ltd purchased Towiemore, but whisky-making never took place there again. However, the maltings were used for a time, and the distillery's warehousing capability was utilised until 1993.

One of the reasons for Towiemore's demise was that the whisky – reputedly of fine quality – sometimes effervesced when water was added, perhaps due to contamination by lime, and despite the installation of filtration equipment, the pro...

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