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Aultmore

Whisky Collection Bar > A
 
AULTMORE                               12 years old 43%                
 
Distilled: 1980
Bottled: 1992
FLORA & FAUNA
 
ABERFELDY / AULTMORE /
 
CRAIGELLACHIE / ROYAL BRACKLA AND
 
JOHN DEWAR AND SONS ARE BOUGHT BY
 
BACARDI IN 1998 AND THE FLORA AND
 
FAUNA EDITIONS FROM THIS DISTILLERIES
 
ARE DISCONTINUED
 

Aultmore Distillery, Keith, Banffshire
 
Aultmore distillery located between Keith and Buckie began production in 1897. The Name derived from the Gaelic, means 'big burn'. Ideal supplies of water and peat from the Foggie Moss made this area a haunt of illicit distillers in the past. Water from the Burn of Auchinderran is now used to produce this smooth, well balanced Single Malt Scotch Whisky with a mellow finish.
 
AULTMORE                               
15 years old
45 %         
VINTAGE 1976
Distilled 1976
Bottled 1992
Bristol Brandy Company Ltd.
 
AULTMORE                               
14 years old 43 %                                         
LAST  BOTTLE  AND  EMPTY
VINTAGE 1980
Distilled 1.9.80
Bottled 6.95
Cask No. 5635
Genummerde flessen
245 bottles
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh
 
AULTMORE               
10 years old
43 %                
VINTAGE 1985
Distilled 9.10.85
Bottled 2.10.96
Cask No. 2905
633 bottles
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh
                                                                                   
AULTMORE               
21 years old
60.90%                    
RARE MALTS SELECTION
Natural Cask Strenght
Distilled 1974
Limited Edition
Genummerde flessen
William Sanderson & Sons, Edinburgh
 
Aultmore founded in 1896 by the owner of Benrinnes and Craigellachie, Aultmore was an instant succes in Victorian times.
 
While tasting this imposing 21 year old, note especially the pale gold colour, an aroma of fresh-mown hay, then the smooth-bodied, richly satisfying flavours, the spicy, complex palate and the heady dry finish of a magnificent Speyside malt.
 
AULTMORE                               
12 years old
59,9%       
SINGLE CASK
SCOTCH MALT WHISKY
Distilled Nov 84
Bottled Feb 97
Society Cask No. code 73.3
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
 
AULTMORE                               
10 years old
50 %          
JOHN MILROY
Millennium Selection
Distilled at Aultmore - Speyside
'Big Burn' , Golden Strength
Distilled 1989
Bottled 1999
Single Cask
John Milroy, London. Keeper of Quality.
                                                                                     
AULTMORE                     
over 14 years old
58,8%       
1991
SINGLE CASK
SCOTCH MALT WHISKY
Distilled: 30.04.1991
Bottled: October 2005
Matured in a sherry butt
Cask No.: 2676
BOTTLED FOR MANUFACTUM
Signatory Vintage,
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh
 
AULTMORE                     
Aged 12 years
40 %            
FROM THE HOUSE OF DEWAR
Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Aultmore Distillery, Keith, Banffshire
The promise of a flowery, fresh nose does not disappoint, as a fruity sweetness develops into a delicate, dry and extraordinarily appetising finish.
 
The area around Aultmore has always been remote and sparsely populated, hence it was a thriving location for the many smugglers' bothies.
 
The numerous burns and the peat of 'The Foggie Moss' were additional incentives for the illicit stills. Even today, the Aultmore Distillery is solitary in the landscape, and catures the spirit of this fresh and delicately sweet, well-balanced Whisky.
 
 
 
 
AULTMORE                  
1 9 8 9                                                                                           
Aged  21 years  
51,8 %                                              
CASK  STRENGHT  RARE  AULD                                         
SCOTCH  WHISKY                                         
DUNCAN  TAYLOR                                        
Unique Whiskies of Distinction                                         
Fons et Origo                                         
Est. 1938                                          
D T C                                         
Date distilled: 02. 1989                                         
Cask no. 1124                                          
Date bottled: 11.2010                                         
181 numbered bottled                                         
No Chill Filtering or Colouring of any kind                                        
Duncan Taylor, Huntly, Aberdeenshire.

 
AULTMORE   DISTILLERY
 
 
Cooling and process water: Burn of Auchinderran and own bores
 
Floormalting                         : Closed in 1968
 
Barley                                     : Optic, unpeated from                                                                                           
 
                                                : Tweed Valley Maltings, Berwick – upon – Tweed
 
Mill                                          : Porteus
 
Mash tun                                : Stainless Steinecker full Lauter, build in 2002
 
                                                  and with a capacity of 10 metric tones
 
Wash backs                            : 6 x 46.500 litres from Scottish Larch
 
                                                   each one holds the volume for 3 Wash Stills
 
Yeast                                        : Quest
 
Fermentation                         : 60 hours
 
Wash Stills                              : 2 Onion shaped each 15.500 litres
 
Spirit Stills                               : 2 Latern shaped and also each 15.500 litres
 
                                                   Manufactured by Archibald Macmillan of Prestonpans
 
Heated:                                    : Indirected by steam from oil heated boilers
 
                                                   and cooled by condensers
 
Distillation cycles                   : 12.5 hours each batch
 
Output                                     : 2.2.000.000 litres spirit a year
 
Cask types:                              : ex – bourbon and a smaller volume sherry butts
 
Cask management                 : 12 years maturation
 
 
                                                                                                                                                         
 
                                                       
 
 
 
AULTMORE (1897
 
 
Keith, Banffshire. Licentiehouder: John & Robert Harvey & Company Ltd, Glasgow. Onder­deel van Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. (S.M.D.). De malt divisie van United Malt & Grain Distillers Ltd. Eigendom van Guinness.
 
Aultmore werd gesticht in 1897 door Alexander Edward die van zijn vader Benrinnes had geerfd.
 
De naam is Keltisch voor 'grote stroom'.
 
Het is een aantrekkelijke plaats voor een distilleerderij, goed en veel water afkomstig van de nabij gelegen heuvels en turf in overvloed van Foggie Moss.
 
De kwaliteit van de whisky was zo goed, dat er bijna onmiddelijk kon worden uitgebreid tot 450.000 liter spirit per jaar.
 
De energie voor de distilleerderij kwam zowel van een waterwiel als stoommachine. De laatste leverde ook stroom voor electriciteit.
 
In 1898 kocht Alexander Edward de Oban distilleerderij en de handelsnaam werd The Oban & Aultmore Glenlivet Distilleries Ltd met een aandelenkapitaal van £ 160.000.
 
In het bestuur zaten ook R.C. Greig en R.B. Gillispie Greig van Wright & Greig Ltd, te Glasgow, de blenders van Roderick Dhu, een heel bekende blend in die tijd en F.W. Brick-man, een whiskymakelaar.
 
F.W. Brickman had ook invloed in andere distilleerderijen en blenders, waaronder Pattison, en toen Pattison in 1899 frauduleus bankroet ging, was dat van enorme invloed voor de gehele whiskyindustrie: veel blenders gingen failliet, distilleerderijen moesten hun produktie beperken of gingen dicht, banken raakten in moeilijkheden.
 
Brickman ging ook bankroet, Oban en Aultmore moesten hun produktie beperken en het aan­delenkapitaal werd aangepast tot £ 67.570.
 
In de eerste wereldoorlog waren Oban en Aultmore gesloten. In 1923 stonden de twee distilleerderijen te koop.
 
Aultmore werd gekocht door John Dewar & Sons Ltd, Perth voor £ 20.000.
 
In 1925 gingen en Dewar en andere blending firma's samen met The Distillers Company Ltd, en Aultmore werd onderdeel van Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd, de malt divisie van D.C.L.
 
In de tweede wereldoorlog was Aultmore weer gesloten.
 
In 1952 werd er te Aultmore geëxperimenteerd met het maken van veevoer uit het residu van de malt whisky bereiding, later voortgezet te Imperial.
 
In 1967 werden de twee kolengestookte ketels voorzien van stoomverhitting. Vanaf 1968 werd de mout van elders betrokken. In 1969 werd de watermolen ontmanteld.
 
De distilleerderij was gesloten van Januari 1970 tot Februari 1971, toen het gebouwen­complex werd gereconstrueerd en er twee ketels werden bijgebouwd.
 
De maximale kapaciteit van Aultmore is ongeveer 1§ miljoen liter spirit per jaar.
 
Het koelwater komt van de Burn of Ryeruggs, het proceswater van de Burn of Auchinderran. De Mash tun is 9 ton, de Wash backs, zes stuks, zijn elk 46.500 liter.
 
De twee Wash stills hebben elk een inhoud van 15.500  liter, de twee Spirit stills elk 14.859 liter en worden met stoom verhit.
 
Op 12 Mei 1997 werd de fusie aangekondigd tussen Guinness en Grand Metropolitan. Op 16 Oktober 1997 staakt de Fransman Bernard Arnault van L M V H zijn verzet tegen de fusie voor een afkoopsom van ƒ 800.000.000. De nieuwe naam van de gefuseerden wordt Diageo.
 
Om toestemming te kunnen verkrijgen van de Amerikaanse mededinginsautoriteiten moeten de merken Dewar en Bombay worden afgestoten. Bacardi Martine neemt Dewar over en vier distilleerderijen: Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigel-lachie en Royal Brackla.
 
October 2005
 
 
Diageo has announced that its 2005 Annual Rare Malts Selection will be the last.
 
The collection will consist of four cask strenght single malts from closed distilleries; Glen Mhor 28 years old, Millburn 35 years old, Glendullan 26 years old and Linkwood 30 years old.
 
Dr. Nicholas Morgan, global malts marketing director commented: 'As the Special Releases are now well established, it makes less sence to continue selecting and promoting a parallel series of Rare Malts with his own separate indentity'.
 
In future, all premium and rare whiskies will be made available in the annual Special Re­leases series.

Cooling and process water: Burn of Auchinderran and own bores
Floormalting: Closed in 1968
Barley: Optic, unpeated from                                                                                          
           : Tweed Valley Maltings, Berwick – upon – Tweed
Mill: Porteus
Mash tun: Stainless Steinecker full Lauter, build in 2002
             and with a capacity of 10 metric tones
Wash backs: 6 x 46.500 litres from Scottish Larch
                  each one holds the volume for 3 Wash Stills
Yeast: Quest
Fermentation: 60 hours
Wash Stills: 2 Onion shaped each 15.500 litres
Spirit Stills : 2 Latern shaped and also each 15.500 litres
                 Manufactured by Archibald Macmillan of Prestonpans
Heated: Indirected by steam from oil heated boilers
            and cooled by condensers
Distillation cycles: 12.5 hours each batch
Output: 2.2.000.000 litres spirit a year
Cask types: ex – bourbon and a smaller volume sherry butts
Cask management: 12 years maturation
 
 .
John Dewar & Sons launches Last Great Malts collection
September, 2014

John Dewar & Sons has announced plans to release a range of new expressions and single malts.
Aultmore, Aberfeldy, Craigellachie, The Deveron and Royal Brackla will be launched under the “Last Great Malts” title - each release featuring an age statement.
The single malts will be released in phases as a complete set of five or in various combinations of the expressions in 10 initial markets around the world including Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States and Global Travel Retail.
Stephen Marshall, single malts global marketing manager, said: “We have been patiently reserving casks and are now ready to share the five distinguished malts with whisky lovers around the world.
“Up until now, these amazing liquids have been Scotland’s best-kept secret, known only to a few. Now we’re appealing to single malt drinkers – people who like stories and enthusiasts who are interested in exploring the aromas of the world’s most complex spirit.”
Marshall told Drinks International: “If you ask whether we are doing it, the answer is probably yes.”
Aultmore 12-year-old will be available from November with a 21-year-old Travel retail and 25-year-old released in limited qualities.
Aberfeldy is repackaged and available globally as a 12-year-old and 21-year-old, with an 18-year-old Travel Retail exclusive. A 16-year-old sherry finish and 30-year-old is set for a 2015 launch.
Craigellachie – a portfolio released for the first time – will be available a 13-year-old, 17-year-old, 19-year-old travel retail and limited 23-year-old.
In summer 2015, The Deveron 12-, 18- and 25-year-old single malts will be released.
Previously released as a limited edition 35-year-old £10,000 a bottle, Royal Brackla will be released in March as 12-year-old, 16-year-old and 21-year-old expressions.
John Burke, dark spirits category director, said: “The single malt category is one of our industry’s great growth opportunities. We are blessed with five of Scotland’s finest, high-quality whiskies.
“We have great respect for the category and are confident that each of the Last Great Malts will be a fitting addition to the repertoire of the most discerning single malt enthusiast.”
The first showing of the Last Great Malts single malt collection will be at Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival starting on September 25


 
                                                  Aultmore Distillery was established in 1895 by Alexander Edward, who had inherited Benrinnes Distillery, Aberlour, from his father, and had been one of the founders of Craigellachie Dis­tillery. It is located 2 1/2  miles from Keith and 9 miles from Buckie, close to the road between the two towns.
 
The place-name Aultmore is derived from the Gaelic words allt-mhor, meaning "big burn". The abundant springs on the neighbouring hill, and the peat deposits of the Foggie Moss, made the area a haunt of illicit distillers in the early part of the nineteenth century. The pro­duct of these operations was taken to Keith, Fochabers and Portgordon, where it is said to have been in great demand among innkeepers and publicans. One of these "small stills" was worked by Jane Milne (according to the oldest inhabitant of the locality in 1934) near the source of Aultmore's process water.
 
Production began early in 1897. Aultmore's product, a Highland malt whisky of the first class, found so much favour in the market that the proprietors were able to announce that "exten­sive alterations and improvements" would be undertaken. These comprised additional malt barns, tunroom accommodation and warehouses. It was reported in July 1898 that capacity had been doubled to permit the production of 100,000 gallons a year, and that electric light was about to replace paraffin lamps. An Abernethy steam engine of 10 h.p., dated 1898, was probably installed at this time to supplement the original source of power, a water-wheel driven by a lade from the distillery dam. All machinery in the plant was inter-connected to allow it to be powered either by the steam engine or the water-wheel. After the latter fell into disuse, the steam engine, driven by means of a system of line shafts, worked the barley and malt conveying plant, the malt dresser and mill, the mashing machine, the wash still rum­mager, and various pumps. It is still there, but no longer used.
 
Alexander Edward bought Oban Distillery in 1898 and floated a limited liability company, The Oban and Aultmore-Glenlivet Distilleries Ltd., with a share capital of £160,000, to take over both distilleries. The issue was a complete success and netted profits of £40,000 for the pro­moters. Edward took over as managing director of a board that included R.C. Greig and R.B. Gillespie Greig, of Wright & Greig Ltd., Glasgow, blenders of Roderick Dhu Scotch Whisky, and F.W. Brickmann, a whisky broker. Brickmann was closely associated with Pattisons Ltd., Scotch whisky blenders, of Leith. This firm was one of the largest customers for Oban's make, and its managing director had been a partner in the Aultmore enterprise. Pattison's bankruptcy in 1899 sparked off a series of business failures, including Brickmann's, and brought trouble to the whole of the malt whisky distilling industry. Oban and Aultmore's output had to be cut, and the share capital reduced to £67,650, to meet the new conditions. The market was overloaded with Speyside malts in 1900, and Aultmore made little progress until trade revived in 1903-04.
 
Restrictions on distillation during the war of 1914 to 1918, culminating in the closure by Go­vernment order of all malt whisky distilleries from 1917 to 1919, were followed by economic recession. Many firms in the whisky industry found it more rewarding to realise their assets, rather than to continue trading. Oban & Aultmore put its two distilleries up for sale early in 1923. Oban Distillery was sold to a syndicate, and Aultmore was bought by John Dewar & Sons Ltd., whisky blen­ders, of Perth, for £20,000.
 
After Dewar's amalgamated with other blending companies to form an enlarged Distillers Company Limited in 1925, Aultmore was transferred to DCL's subsidiary, Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd.
 
The distillery was closed, once again as a result of Government restrictions on the supply of barley to distillers, from 1943 to 1945. As soon as restrictions on building were relaxed, SMD embarked on a stage by stage programme of mo­dernising its distilleries and mal­tings. The necessary preliminary was to ensure that existing or pro­jected production of whisky was not limited by lack of sufficient capacity for treating distillery effluent. Ex­periments carried out in a pilot plant at Aultmore Distillery from 1952 on­wards (and subsequently at Imperial Distillery) were eventually successful in developing a technique whereby the solid matter in the effluent of malt whisky distilleries could be dried and recovered as a high-protein animal feedingstuff.
 
Aultmore's two stills, previously heated by hand-fired furnaces, were converted to steam heating from a coal-fired boiler in 1967.
 
Until that year, the railway siding from Keith Junction was used to bring in supplies of barley and coal, and to despatch whisky. The distillery ceased to make its own malt, and began to draw it from one of SMD's regional makings, in 1968. The long-disused water-wheel was de­molished, and the steam engine went into retirement, in 1969, on the eve of a complete re­construction of the premises. The distillery was closed for that purpose from January 1970 to February 1971. Two additional stills were installed and the boiler was converted from coal-burning to oil-firing.
 
A new effluent recovery plant was built in 1972 to make distillers' dark grains. This by-product is a mixture of "draff" (the residue of the malt remaining after the carbohydrate has been ex­tracted for fermentation) with a syrup obtained from evaporating "pot-ale" (the liquid left over when distillation has been completed). It is sold to compounders of animal feedingstuffs at home and abroad.
 
Scottish Malt Distillers owns 15 houses for occupation by employees of the distillery. The dis­tillery property includes a farm of 130 acres (53 hectares), Milltown of Tarrycroys. The main products are cereals and beef cattle. Aultmore's process water flows by pipeline from a dam built on this land in 1967, and fed from the Burn of Auchinderran. An overflow from this sup­ply, piped into the original dam, and supplemented from the Burn of Ryeriggs, is used for cooling water.
 
The licensed distillers are John & Robert Harvey & Company Ltd., Glasgow, blenders of Har­vey's Gold Label and Harvey's Special Scotch whiskies. They bottle and sell Aultmore as a single malt whisky.
 
Running the stills slow helps to maximise reflux, but the shape also allows some heavier elements to come across. In character, therefore, Aultmore shares some of the same characters as Linkwood – fragrant on the nose, substantial on the tongue.

When drinking locally, you wouldn’t ever ask for an Aultmore, but for ‘a dram of the Buckie road’. Located in splendid isolation on the route which runs from that fishing port to Keith, it has – until very recently – been a rare bird as a single malt. Built by the enterprising Alexander Edward [see Craigellachie] in 1896 it was always going to be pressed into service for blends.

In 1923 it became part of the John Dewar & Sons estate and has remained so ever since. In fact, so highly prized is it as a blending malt that it is said that when Bacardi was in the process of buying Dewar’s from Diageo, it was willing to walk away from the deal if Aultmore wasn’t included.

Completely refurbished in the 1970s it is easy to dismiss as little more than a functional plant, but the character of its single malts, now finally being given an official release, shows what the blenders have been keeping to themselves for all these years.

CAPACITY (MLPA) i
2.95
CONDENSER TYPE i
Shell and tube
FERMENTATION TIME i
Minimum 56hrs
GRIST WEIGHT (T) i
10
HEAT SOURCE i
Steam
MALT SPECIFICATION i
Plain malt, zero phenols
MALT SUPPLIER i
Simpsons
MASH TUN TYPE i
Lauter
NEW-MAKE PHENOL LEVEL i
Zero
NEW-MAKE STRENGTH i
Less than 70%
SPIRIT STILL CHARGE (L) i
15,000
SPIRIT STILL SHAPE i
Plain
SPIRIT STILL SIZE (L) i
17,500
STILLS i
2 wash, 2 spirit
WAREHOUSING i
Westhorn / Poniel
WASH STILL CHARGE (L) i
16,400
WASH STILL SHAPE i
Plain
WASH STILL SIZE (L) i
22,970
WASHBACK CHARGE (L) i
47,200
WASHBACK SIZE (L) i
60,000
WASHBACK TYPE i
Wood
WASHBACKS i
6
WATER SOURCE i
Auchenderran Dam, Rye Riggs Burn
WORT CLARITY i
Cloudy
YEAST TYPE i
MS1 liquid yeast
OWNERS
Bacardi logo
PARENT COMPANY
Bacardi
1998 - present
CURRENT OWNER
John Dewar & Sons
PREVIOUS OWNERS
Diageo
1997 - 1998
United Distillers
1992 - 1997
Distillers Company Limited
1925 - 1992
John Dewar & Sons
1923 - 1925
Oban and A

AULTMORE WINE CASK MALTS SET FOR HEATHROW
April 2019
Speyside distillery Aultmore will launch its new Wine Cask Collection next week – a trio of 22-year-old expressions exclusively for sale at London Heathrow Airport.

Aultmore 22-year-old finished in Super Tuscan, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Moscatel casks
Finished off: Three different wine varieties have been chosen for secondary maturation
The three single malts have been matured for 11 years in a combination of refill ex-Sherry and ex-Bourbon casks, before being transferred into one of three different ex-wine casks – Super Tuscan, Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Moscatel – for a further 11 years.

Aultmore 22 Years Old Super Tuscan Finish has been matured in casks said to have previously held ‘one of the world’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignons’.

Described as having notes of ‘buttery toffee, unctuous vanilla and concentrated floral aromas’, the whisky is bottled at 52.1% abv and is priced at £360, with only 108 bottles available.

The ‘glorious and rich’ Châteauneuf-du-Pape casks are said to have imparted ‘luxurious, deep red fruity notes’ and ‘the scent of honeysuckle’ to the whisky.

Bottled at 52.1%, only 144 bottles of Aultmore 22 Years Old Châteauneuf-du-Pape Finish are available, priced at £340 each.

Aultmore 22 Years Old Moscatel Finish is described as ‘vibrant, with ripe fruits, potent spices and a long, luxurious finish’.

Only 222 bottles of the Moscatel Finish are available, also bottled at 52.1% abv and priced at £320.

To mark the whisky’s launch next Thursday (18 April), Aultmore global brand ambassador Georgie Bell will be in duty free stores at Heathrow Airport, running tasting sessions throughout the day.

The launch coincides with Heathrow’s annual Whisky Festival, which runs throughout the month of April.

Speyside distillery Glenrothes has also released a Heathrow exclusive to coincide with the festival, a 19-year-old limited edition single cask whisky.

ALEXANDER EDWARD, CRAIGELLACHIE
April 2017
You might think that building four distilleries, running a fifth, creating a village and building a hotel would be sufficient to elevate you to the status of ‘whisky legend’, never mind whisky hero. But the man who did all of these things, Alexander Edward, has been relegated to ‘forgotten hero’ instead. Such are the ways of life. Dave Broom tries to redress the balance.

The young tyro, who would eventually become a respected elder, was born on 5 December 1865 in Wester Gauldwell, Boharm, Moray. His father, David Edward, was already an experienced distiller, who would acquire the licence for Benrinnes and own land on the outskirts of the village of Craigellachie.

It would be there, in 1890, that Alexander’s active whisky life would start when, at age 25, he would join a consortium with Peter Mackie to purchase his father’s land and build the Craigellachie distillery.

When his father died three years later, Alexander Edward inherited Benrinnes and promptly formed another consortium, to whom he sold the distillery for £32,000. He retained some stock and contributed to manage both it and Craigellachie.

Perhaps some of the money was used to fund a holiday he took in 1894, which was written up by the National Guardian on 20 April of that year. The very fact that this would be considered of public interest suggests the young Mr Edward was already something of a celebrity. The paper reported:

‘Mr. Alexander Edward… has been away for a month or two of travel up the Mediterranean. He has been to Tangiers, and various places in Morocco. From Gibraltar he was last heard of, and he was expected home in the course of this week…’

On his return, suitably tanned and energised, he got back to work, buying and expanding the brick-and-tile works in Craigellachie, introducing, as the National Guardian reported:

‘Machinery and other appliances by which a vastly increased amount of work can be accomplished…’

Edward had a plan – and it went beyond whisky. Scotland was now on the tourist trail. Balmoralism was in full flood, country sports were growing in popularity and Craigellachie had a railway junction, making the previously quiet village a hub. He began to build new villas, which could be rented out in summer.

As well as building villas (from his own bricks – which the National Guardian reported had the quality of not ‘sustaining any damage from exposure to frost’) he felt the need for a grander statement. As the Dundee Courier and Argus reported on 15 August 1896:

‘Mr Edward… saw that something more was wanted than villas to make Craigellachie the fashionable place it is now. He determined to build a first-class hotel. There was an old hotel or roadside inn… quite unsuited for modern requirements, especially of that class which it was Mr Edward’s intention to encourage to visit.’

He was aiming specifically at the well-to-do traveller, the sportsman; guests at the hotel had the use of its beat on the Spey. On 31 January 1896, the Banffshire Herald hailed him as ‘probably the most expert financier in the North of Scotland’.

At the same time as the hotel was being built, he purchased land to build Aultmore distillery, commissioning Charles Doig as the architect. He appears to have stepped back from Craigellachie the year after and switched allegiance from Mackie’s blends to those made by his close friend Tommy Dewar, with whom he shared a passion for motoring.

Craigellachie Hotel: While building the hotel, Edward acquired land to build Aultmore distillery (photo: Archive of John Dewar & Sons Ltd)

He pops up in an anecdote recounted in Robert Bruce Lockhart’s Scotch. Two of the author’s friends were playing Bridge with Dewar and Edward, and drinking copiously. After Dewar told them off for excessive consumption, one riposted:

           ‘And where would the trade be, Lord Dewar, if we didn’t drink?’

Dewar put his cards down, looked at Edward for a moment, and said quite seriously:

           ‘Alec, there’s something in what that young fellow says.’

Despite his importance, it is Edward’s sole appearance in the histories of the time.

Although he married Cicely Mary Godman in 1899, the marriage was, according to one record, ‘not altogether successful’, and he and his wife lived separate lives in their Sanquhar estate in Forres. The town was to be the location for his last two investments in Scotch: the establishment of Benromach in 1898 and Dallas Dhu the year after. He then stepped into the background, running a whisky broking firm in Edinburgh.

Edward’s taste for the high life hadn’t left him, however, and his love of motoring resulted in him being issued with a fine for speeding in 1903, a black mark against a man who had been made a Justice of the Peace in 1898.

Like many of his colleagues, he was of philanthropic bent. In 1926, he offered to open a ‘fighting fund’ for farmers faced with the possibility of the market being flooded with cheap Russian grain, and gifted the Kintail sporting estate to the Inverness Northern Infirmary in 1928. During the Second World War, he allowed Sanquhar to be used as an auxiliary hospital.

He passed away, aged 80, on 3 March 1946. His obituaries focused not just on his achievements in whisky; the Elgin Courant & Courier called him:

‘One of the oldest and best-known distillers in Scotland.’

And on his sporting prowess:

‘He was passionately fond both of rod and gun… Few could throw a line more expertly…’

Edward appeared to have been a man who was well-loved. Even the business reports of his ventures make space to write about his generosity and kindness. He may, as the Press & Journal reported, have been ‘one of the greatest personalities in the Scottish distilling industry’.

But more importantly, he appeared to have been loved. Why, then, is he forgotten?

Unlike his friends and associates, he wasn’t a blender. He may have been an entrepreneur, but he didn’t appear to court publicity. There is no sense that he wished to. Given his business acumen, if he had wanted to become one of the whisky barons, he had the nous to succeed.

It is time that he was recognised for his insight. Many remarkable men built distilleries. He was the only one who connected Scotland, whisky and tourism. Alexander Edward: the pioneer of whisky tourism. A man not just of his time, but of ours as we

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