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Benrinnes Distillery

Distillery (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Benrinnes Distillery

Classification Distillery (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Ben Rinnes Distillery; Ben Holme, Distillery; Benrinnes Glenlivet Distillery; Charlestown Of Aberlour

Canmore ID 16314

Site Number NJ23NE 8

NGR NJ 25850 39750

NGR Description Centred NJ 25850 39750

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Moray
  • Parish Aberlour
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Moray
  • Former County Banffshire

Accessing Scotland's Past Project

Benrinnes Distillery, which is situated about 2km south of Charlestown of Aberlour, began production in the mid-nineteenth century. Most of the buildings visible today date from a phase of modernisation carried out in 1956.

The tall brick chimney forms an attractive feature when set against the white buildings. Most of these belong to the 1956 rebuilding, but a few nineteenth-century buildings survive. These include a cask store, the rubble walls of which provide a stark contrast to the adjacent modern buildings, and the distillery cottages, which are also built of rubble masonry.

Other features include the still-house, expanded to six stills in 1966, and a boiler house with its pair of Penman Boilers, both Glasgow-made. Although the distillery has its own maltings, these have been long disused and 'ready made' malt is bought in from larger commercial maltings.

Text prepared by RCAHMS as part of the Accessing Scotland's Past project

Archaeology Notes

NJ23NE 8 centred 25850 39750

Benrinnes Glenlivet Distillery [NAT]

OS (GIS) MasterMap, November 2009.

Barnard notes that the works were built in 1835. At the time of his visit he notes that there were two new Maltings each being 170 feet long by 30 feet wide and were divided into three floors. Barnard notes also that the peat heated Kiln was a new structure at the time of his visit. The Still Room contained two old Pot Stills, the Wash Still holding 1,080 and the Low-wines 1,004 gallons. There were, he continues to note, 7 Bonded Warehouses, two of them having two internal floors, the remaining five having only one floor each. The whole taken together were, he notes, capable of holding/storing 1,700 casks of Whisky of various ages. The make was Highland Malt Whisky, the annual output being 50,000 gallons.

A Barnard 1969.

Said to have been founded in 1835 by William Smith and Co. The distillery was rebuilt in 1955-6 and was extended from 3 to 6 stills in 1966.

MS Moss and J R Hume 1981.

Founded 1820-1860. Air photographs: AAS/97/06/G11/11-13 and AAS/97/06/CT, flown 3 June 1997.

NMRS, MS/712/25.

Name cited as Ben Holme, distillery.

NMRS, MS/712/29.

Dating from the mid 19th century, Benrinnes Distillery is situated two kilometres due south from Charlestown of Aberlour. Much of the fabric of the present day complex originates from a 1956 re-construction. In 1966 the capacity of the distillery was increased from three to six stills (two wash stills, each flanked by two low wines stills).

Features of the distillery include the spacious Still House with cast-iron worm tanks to the rear, a Boilerhouse containing two Glasgow-made Penman Boilers, a red-brick Boilerhouse Chimney, and a large maltings block.

The Maltings comprise four Saladin Boxes, a form of maltings of French origin which became popular in the whisky industry 1950s. The building and the boxes themselves are constructed from re-inforced concrete, as is the mansard roof. The maltings have been disused for many years, and malt is instead brought in from central larger-scale maltings such as those at Inverness, Burghead and Hillside (near Montrose).

Visited by RCAHMS (MKO), August 1998.

M S Moss and J R Hume 1981; Information from Mr Alastair Robertson (Manager), August 1998;


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