Founded in 1898, the Glen Elgin Distillery was designed by the famous distillery architect Charles Doig, and is based in the renowned whisky producing area of Speyside in the Scottish Highlands. Its founders, lead by William Simpson who had previously managed the Glenfarclas Distillery, had chosen the location south of Elgin for it’s Millbuies Loch Spring water source and close proximity to the railway line.
However problems quickly arose, with a railway siding being refused and the water source proving to be less than reliable, and it faced closure soon after being opened.
Over the following 30 years the distillery struggled from owner to owner, finding a period of stability under the ownership of John J Blanche. However in the 1930’s things started to look up for this much troubled distillery when it was purchased by the world largest Scotch Whisky producer at the time DCL via their Scottish Malt Distillers subsidiary, and instantly licensed to another of their subsidiaries White Horse Distilleries.
DCL would later be purchased by Guinness, which goes on to become Diageo who still own the distillery, and it still produces a key component of the extremely popular White Horse blended whisky.
Despite the distillery being only modest in size, it has an exceptionally large malted barley storage capacity of over 400 tonnes. It’s facilities are a unique mix of old and new, with the whole distillery being lit by paraffin, as well as the machinery being driven by a paraffin engine, until the 1950’s.