Balblair distillery

Coordinates: 57°50′25.7″N 4°10′49.5″W / 57.840472°N 4.180417°W / 57.840472; -4.180417
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Balblair distillery
Region: Highland
OwnerInver House Distillers
Water sourceThe Allt Dearg
No. of stills1 wash still (20,000l)
1 spirit still (8,500l)[1]
Capacity1,800,000 litres of alcohol

Balblair distillery is a Scotch malt whisky distillery located in Edderton, Ross-shire, Scotland.

Founded in 1790, the distillery was rebuilt in 1895 by the designer Charles C Doig to be closer to the Edderton Railway Station on the Inverness and Ross-shire Railway line. However, so good was the original water source that the rebuilt distillery chose to ignore a nearby burn in favour of the original Ault Dearg burn. To this day, the Balblair Distillery continues to use this original water source.[2]


John Ross, the founder, ran Balblair as a thriving business and in 1824 he was joined by his son, Andrew. The distillery stayed in the Ross family until 1894, when the tenancy was taken over by Alexander Cowan. In 1948 the freehold was bought by Robert Cumming, who promptly expanded the distillery and increased production.[3] Cumming ran the distillery until he retired in 1970 when he sold it to Hiram Walker. In 1996 Balblair Distillery was purchased by Inver House Distillers Limited, whose other distilleries include the Speyburn-Glenlivet Distillery, Knockdhu Distillery, Old Pulteney Distillery and Balmenach Distillery.[4]

Balblair has one of the oldest archives in distilling, with the first ledger entry dated 25 January 1800. John Ross himself penned that entry, which read: “Sale to David Kirkcaldy at Ardmore, one gallon of whisky at £1.8.0d”.Sale to David Kirkcaldy at Ardmore, one gallon of whisky at £1.8.0d”.[5]

Balblair used to release their whisky by vintage, but in April 2019 they started to release a core range of age statement whiskies. This includes but is not limited to a 12, 15, 18, 21 and 25 year old.[6]

Following its appearance in several scenes in the Ken Loach film The Angels' Share, Balblair opened a visitor centre in its former malting building. As well as containing a shop, the visitor centre is the starting point for regular tours of the distillery.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Balblair". 13 April 2015. Archived from the original on 13 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Balblair Distillery". The List. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  3. ^ MacLean, Charles (2017). Spirit of Place - Whisky Distilleries of Scotland. Frances Lincoln.
  4. ^ Littler, Mark (27 April 2020). "The History Of Inver House | Value Advise Sell | Mark Littler Ltd". Mark Littler. Retrieved 7 October 2023.
  5. ^ "The Sale of Whisky". The Lancet. 163 (4203): 816–817. ISSN 0140-6736.
  6. ^ Ireland, Kapila (7 November 2019). "Landmark listing for Balblair with Le Clos in Dubai". DFNI. Retrieved 7 October 2023.
  7. ^ Reporter (2 August 2018). "Visitors to Balblair distillery up by more than 35% in first half of the year". Press and Journal. Retrieved 7 October 2023.

External links[edit]

57°50′25.7″N 4°10′49.5″W / 57.840472°N 4.180417°W / 57.840472; -4.180417