LAST BOTTLE AND EMPTY CONNOISSEURS CHOICE Distilled: 1974 Bottled: 1989 Proprietors: W.P. Lowrie & Co, Ltd Gordon & Macphail, Elgin
12 years old
43 % INFO FLORA & FAUNA ABERFELDY/AULTMORE/CRAIGELLACHIE/ ROYAL BRACKLA/JOHN DEWAR AND SONS ARE BOUGHT BY BACARDI IN 1998 AND THE FLORA AND FAUNA EDITIONS FROM THIS DISTILLERIES ARE DISCONTINUED Distilled 1980 Bottled 1992 Craigellachie Distillery, Banffshire
11 years old
43 % THE VINTAGE CHOICE Distilled 1983 Bottled 1994 The Vintage Malt Whisky Co, Ltd, Glasgow
16 years old
43% THE ULTIMATE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY SELECTION Distilled 11.10.78 Bottled 9.95 Cask no. 7707 Genummerde flessen 418 bottles Van Wees, Holland
55 % INFO SINGLE CASK SCOTCH MALT WHISKY Date distilled Jul 72 Date bottled Sept 97 Society Cask No. code 44.13 The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh 'Pear Belle - Helene and stem ginger'17 years old
58,8 %INFO SINGLE CASK SCOTCH MALT WHISKY LAST BOTTLE & EMPTY Date distilled Mar 82 Date bottled Sept 99 Society Cask No. code 44.15 Outturn 247 bottles The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh 'Icing sugar and ivy leaves'
14 years old
40 %INFO Single Malt Scotch Whisky Speyside FROM THE HOUSE OF DEWAR Craigellachie Distillery, Craigellachie, Aberlour
11 years old
46 % Speyside Single Malt THE ULTIMATE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY SELECTION Distilled 03/02/98 Matured in a hogshead Cask no: 75 Bottled 06/03/09 Numbered Bottles Natural Colour Non Chillfiltered Selected by The Ultimate Whisky Company P.O. Box 18, 3800 A A, Amersfoort
Aged 10 years
57.1 % Speyside Region THE NC2 RANGE DUNCAN TAYLOR Unique Whiskies of Distinction Fons et Origo D T C Distilled 1999 Bottled 2010 Surprisingly smoky Duncan Taylor & Co, Ltd, Huntly, Aberdeenshire
2 0 0 2
WORDT NIET GESERVEERD
9 years old
A L E I D
IN LOVING MEMORY
Speyside Single Mal
Matured in a 1st fill sherry But
Cask no: 900069
852 Numbered Botttles
SELECTED FOR ALEID
L & B Bar Amsterdam
CRAIGELLACHIE 13 aged years
46 % No: 83 - LH 88 Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky Old Fashioned in 1891 Edward & Mackie, Founders Our distillery built on a rocky bluff situated above The confluence of the river Fiddich and the river Spey Craigellachie lies in the heart of Speyside Founders Alexander Edward / Peter Mackie Edward & Mackie makers of Craigellachie Speyside Single Malt No Chill - Filtering Craigellachie Distillery, Moray
A style seldom met
In 1891 a whisky expert noted that Craigellachie represented a style whisky "seldom met with now ", which we took as a compliment. Today we still use old - fashioned worm - tubs to cool our spirit and bestow it with extra flavor, creating a dram to rival whiskies twice its age.
Worm Tubs A worm Tub is a long copper tube, sitting in a large tank of cold water, which snakes back and forth and gradually gets narrower.
In 1891 many distilleries condensed their spirit this way, giving their whiskies a distinctive,meaty character. Craigellachie is one of very few still benefiting from this traditionaltechnique. LAST GREAT MALTS SELECTION
also see Aberfeldy, Aultmore, The Deveron (Glen Deveron / Macduff) Royal Brackla
46 % Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky Old Fashioned in 1891 Edward & Mackie, Founders Rested in Hand made oak casks for a Minimum of seventeen years for a rich full character with flavours reminigent of toffee & dried fruits guaranted small Batch - all our Spirit Made on the same still in a single season Founders: Alexander Edward and Peter Mackie No Chill - Filtration Distilled and Bottled in Scotland by The Craigellachie Distillery Company Makers of Cragellachie Speyside Single Malt Craigellachie Distillery Moray Scotland
A style seldom met In 1891 a whisky expert noted that Craigellachie represented a style of whisky "seldommet with now" which we took as a compliment.
Today we still use old - fashioned worm tubs to cool our spirit and bestow it with extraflavour, creating a dram to rival whiskies twice its age.
Our Own Malt
Our malt is not supplied to any other distillery. It has a uniquely heavy character which we preserve by grinding it finer than anyone else does, using a very efficient Steinecker mash tun. It is also shallower and drains better than the deeper tuns do, holding onto less water so that the malt's character is less diluted. So when we say that Craigellachie is a malt whisky we mean it.
CRAIGELLACHIE Batch. No: 67 KA 23 Aged 23 years
46 % Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky Old Fashioned in 1891 Edward & Mackie , Founders Type: SIGNATURE 2 3 Y/O SINGLE MALT Note: Sitting stubbornly stop a rock in Speyside, our distillery uses rare WORM TUB condensers to impart unusually strong sulphury flavours to its spirit. No chill - filtering Founders: Alexander Edward / Peter Mackie Makers of Craigellachie Speyside Single Malt Craigellachie Distillery, Moray, Scotland
A style seldim met
In the 1890s whisky expert Alfred Barnard noted that Craigellachie represented and old - fashioned style of whisky "seldom met with now'. Which we took as a compliment.
Ever since, we have stubbornly maintained the methods that make our whisky so dis- tinctive. It"s why we are one of the very few distilleries that still use WORM TUBES to cool the spirit from the stills. They bestow it with extra flavours of a strong sulphury nature and help to create a gutsy dram that rivals whiskies twice its age.
The distillery cat
At one time the distillery had a cat which liked to warm itself high up in the stillhouse. however, when it smelt the vapour coming from the spirit as it rode up the still, it would run away. Seeing the cat move, the STILLMEN knew that it was time to turn the steam of, making for an unusual team effort.
CRAIGELLACHIEINFO Age 24 years
52 % SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY FROM A SINGLE CASK Date Distilled 15th August 1990 Cask Type: Refill Hogsheadex / Bourbon Outturn: One of Only 288 Bottles
Society Single Cask: Code: 4 4 . 6 4 The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh "You can fly"
2 0 0 8
Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Matured in a First Fill Sherry Butt
Cask no: 900616
Bottle no: 63
The Ultimate Whisky Company.NL
Speyside CRAIGELLACHIE (1888
Craigellachie, Banffshire. Licentiehouder: White Horse Distillers Ltd. Onderdeel van Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. De malt divisie van United Distillers Ltd. Eigendom van Guinness. The Craigellachie Distillery Co werd gesticht in 1888 met als de twee belangrijkste aandeelhouders Alexander Edwar, toen al eigenaar van Benrinnes en deelnemingen in andere distilleerderijen en Peter J. Mackie, bijgenaamd 'Restless Peter', van Mackie & Co, eigenaar van Lagavulin en blender van White Horse.
De architekt was Charles Chree Doig
. Men produceerde toen ongeveer 4500 liter spirit per week. In 1900 werd Peter J. Mackie de alleen eigenaar.Sir Peter Mackie stierf in 1924 en de firmanaam werd toen veranderd in White Horse Distillers Ltd. In 1927 ging White Horse samen met The Distillers Company Ltd. Craigellachie werd in 1930 onderdeel van Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. Vanwege de depressie werd Craigellachie gesloten van 1930 - 1932. In de tweede wereldoorlog werd Craigellachie gesloten (1942 - 1945). In 1948 werd Craigellachie aangesloten op het electricteitsnet. In 1964 - 1965 werd er verbouwd en toen werden ook het aantal ketels uitgebreid van twee naar vier. Het gedeelte van de distilleerderij dat dateerd van 1888 is nu lagerpakhuis no 1, lagerpakhuis no. 2 werd gebouwd in 1914, no 3 in 1920 en no. 4 in 1969.
Tot 1972 werden de ketels met kolen gestookt, daarna door middel van stoom van olie-gestookte ketels. Het proceswater dat eerder van Little Conval Hill kwam, komt tegenwoordig van de Blue Hill. Het koelwater komt van de rivier de Fiddich. 10 % van de whisky wordt gebotteld als single malt whisky, de overige hoeveelheid gaat in de blends White Horse en Logan. Er werken 19 mensen, in 1962 waren dat er nog 50. Craigellachie heeft een vloermouterij, Kiln en kleine vaten makerij.
De Mash tun is 9 ton, de acht Wash backs hebben elk een inhoud van 45000 liter De twee Wash stills zijn elk 28.185 liter, evenals de twee spirit stills, ze worden met stoom verhit. De jaarproduktie is 1,6 miljoen liter spirit per jaar. De distilleerderij manager is (2002) Archie Ness.
Guinness nam Arthur Bell & Sons Ltd over in 1986 en in 1987 The Distillers Company Ltd. Beiden tegen hun zin.In 1988 werden beide groepen van bedrijven samengevoegd en de nieuwe naam werd United Distillers
Limited.Op 12 Mei 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 zou aanvankelijk G M G Brands worden maar op 22 Oktober wordt bekend dat de naam Diageo zou worden, afgeleid van het Latijnse woord voor dag en het Griekse woord voor wereld.
Diageo wordt het grootste drankenconcern ter wereld, groter dan Seagram en Allied Domecq samen en met een omzet van 40 miljard gulden. Op 28 Maart 1998 verkoopt Diageo het whiskymerk Dewar en het ginmerk Bombay voor £ 1,15 miljard aan Bacardi Martini. Het afstoten van de twee merken was een voorwaarde die door de Amerikaanse mededingingsautoriteiten was gesteld aan de goedkeuring van de fusie tussen Guinness en Grand Metropolitan. Dewar heeft een omzet van ruim één miljard gulden en een marktaandeel van 10 %. Het merk is marktleider in de V.S. Diageo is de overkoepelende naam voor vier company's: United Distillers & Vintners, (U.D.V.), Pilsbury, Guinness en Burger King. Onderdeel van de verkoop houdt ook in de overname van de distilleerderijen Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigellachie en Royal Brackla door Bacardi Martini. Balmenach wordt in December 1997 verkocht aan Inver House.
The distillery stands on a spur of a hill overlooking the village, the precipitous Rock of Craigellachie, the winding Spey, and Telford's elegant single-span iron bridge of 1815. The Moray and Nairn Express for 25 July 1891 published a description of "this new distillery, which has recently been completed and is now in full operation ... a most compact building, already of considerable proportions, and capable of being so enlarged as to manufacture 0 gallons of spirits per week. Mr. C.C. Doig, Elgin, the architect, has made a speciality of distillery construction, and has been able to introduce all the most modern improvements as regards labour and fuel-saving devices ... The entire building has been planned with a view to the comfort of theemployees and the convenient working of the establishment". The Craigellachie Distillery Co. had been founded in 1888. Two men "had the principal charge of the business": Alexander Edward of Collargreen, Craigellachie, owner of Benrinnes Distillery, Aberlour, and Peter J. Mackie, of Mackie & Co. of Glasgow, distillers and wine merchants, who would within a few years launch a new blended whisky, White Horse. Other blenders and whisky merchants held minority shareholdings and members of the public were invited to invest from the mid-1890's. Alexander Edward, who had since promoted other distillery ventures, gave up his interest in 1900. From that date onwards the annual general meeting of the company provided the chairman, Peter Mackie, with a platform for strongly held opinions on the state of the whisky industry, the nation and the British Empire. The Times, in its obituary notice on Sir Peter Mackie in 1924, observed that "he had the restlessness of a vigorous mind, and was constantly planning fresh enterprises, most of which he succeeded in carrying out". The most enduring of his achievements was the impetus he put behind the sale of White Horse. Some of the other enterprises in which he had an interest, such as the production of BBM ("Bran, Bone and Muscle") flour, mixed according to a secret recipe by machinery under the board-room floor, and which every member of Mackie's staff had to use at home, the manufacture of feeding-cake for farm animals, and of concrete slabs and partitions, the weaving of Highland tweed and the distribution of Carragheen moss, were given up, to the general relief, after his time. "Restless Peter", as his staff called him, was an entrepreneur dedicated to exact planning, hard work and rigid discipline. He did nothing by half. In 1922, seven years after the Craigellachie Distillery Co. had been taken over by Mackie's, Sir Peter (now a baronet) organised the movement of 2,300 casks from Craigellachie to warehouses he had acquired in Campbeltown. This entailed the charter of special trains from Craigellachie to Lossiemouth - running two or three times per day for four days in all -and two steamers which sailed round the north of Scotland to the Mull of Kintyre.
The depth of Sir Peter's involvement is indicated by a visitor's impressions in 1923. For him, the arresting feature at Craigellachie was "the wonderful purification plant invented by Mr. R. Littlefield of Exeter" for treating distillery effluent; but his eye also lingered on the "carefully-tended gardens" of the "trim little cottages occupied by the employees". There was an annual inspection of the gardens by the directors, followed by a presentation of prizes for those that were best kept. Mackie & Co. changed its name to White Horse Distillers Ltd. after Sir Peter died in 1924. Three years later, it joined forces with The Distillers Company Limited. Craigellachie, in common with all other malt whisky distilleries owned by companies in the Group, was transferred to another subsidiary, Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd., in 1930. It was closed from 1930-32, at the peak of the economic depression, and again from 1942-45 because of wartime restrictions on the supply of barley to distillers. The distillery was lighted by paraffin lamps until about 1948, when it was connected to the national grid. Machinery in the mash house and tunroom was then driven by an Abernethy steam engine. A waterwheel was used to drive the wash still rummager up to 1964. The still-house, mash house and tunroom were rebuilt, and the number of pot stills increased from two to four in 1964-65. All that remains of the original* Victorian distillery is part of No.1 warehouse and the former floor makings (now part of No.4 warehouse). The other part of No.1 was added later, possibly in 1902. No.2 warehouse was built in 1914, No.3 in 1920 and No.4 was converted in 1969. One of the reasons for locating a distillery at Craigellachie at the peak of the railway age must have been the good communications with Elgin, Aberdeen and the South via Craigellachie Junction Station. Supplies of barley, coal, empty casks and yeast came in by rail, and filled casks of whisky went out by the same route, until SMD ceased to use the Speyside line in 1967. Coal was delivered in 25-ton lorries from Aberdeen until 1972, when the heating of stills from a coal furnace was replaced by internal heating by steam from an oil-fired boiler. The site of the distillery covers 4 acres (1.6 hectares). SMD owns the rights to a supply of spring water on the hill of Little Conval and in the area feeding Allachoy Burn. This is used for mashing. Cooling water is drawn from the River Fiddich. SMD own 17 houses for occupation by employees at the distillery. The licensed distillers are White Horse Distillers Ltd., Glasgow, proprietors of White Horse and Logan blended Scotch Whiskies.
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 Re-leases series
CRAIGELLACHIE ( L & B Bar Amsterdam Leon Elshof )
Aleid en ik hebben vorig jaar april besloten om een whiskybotteling te geven aan iedereendie ons dierbaar is.Welke, wanneer, hoe en wat was toen nog niet bekend.Na 31 oktober ben ik op zoek gegaan naar een mooie botteling.Het is deze Craigellachie geworden.
Waarom deze fles? In het dorp Craigellachie heb ik Aleid ten huwelijk gevraagd, in 2002 zijn wij getrouwd en zoals jullie kunnen lezen is de whisky gebotteld op de geboortedagvan Aleid.
Ik hoop dat jullie bij het drinken van deze whisky een moment terug denken aan Aleid enwat ze voor ons heeft betekent .Dank voor Julie steun en liefde in de afgelopen maanden.Gu bràth mèin gràdh.Leon.
John Dewar & Sons launches Last Great Malts collection
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 expressns 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
Craigellachie is�ާ�ާ���'��ާ�ާ@�ާulphur comes from barley and is naturally produced during the whisky-making process. If you cut down the amount of copper available to spirit vapour the higher the sulphur levels in the new make will be. What appears to not have been understood is that this sulphur disappears in time. It acts as a marker; an indication that once its cloak has been lifted a spirit will emerge either as meaty (Cragganmore, Mortlach, Benrinnes) or fragrant (Glenkinchie, Speyburn, Balblair, AnCnoc, and Craigellachie) In other words, sulphur can be desirable.
Craigellachie revels in its sulphurous nature. The first thing you smell as you enter the distillery is the notes of cabbage and beef stock. This is rising from the worm tubs which sit at the back of the distillery. It is the small amount of copper contained within them that helps to promote this character. They also add weight to the palate of the mature spirit.
Long fermentation has however fixed fruitiness within the spirit and this tropical/floral note emerges in the mature spirit. It’s this character: full, yet aromatic which has made Craigellachie a prized malt for blending: it has been a major contributor to White Horse since the late 19th century – with the result that it had to wait until 2014 to receive its promotion to the rank of front-line malts.
The village of Craigellachie was an important hub in whisky’s history as it was here, in 1863, that the railway lines from Lossiemouth (north), Dufftown (south), Keith (east), and the Strathspey Railway (south west) met, allowing rail transport between Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth within the region.
Craigellachie’s distillery, however, was only built in 1890. Designed by Charles Doig, it was built with all modern conveniences with the express intention of making a lighter fruitier character than the older distilleries – one of the earliest descriptors of Craigellachie mentions pineapple as a desireable aroma.
Its owners were Sir Peter Mackie (of White Horse) and Alexander Edward who though only 25 when the distillery was built was already the lessee of Benrinnes. He also owned a local brickworks, built new villas in the growing village and, in 1896, constructed a large hotel. He would go on to build Aultmore, Dallas Dhu and Benromach.
Edward pulled out in 1900 to concentrate on those other interests, leaving Craigellachie in White Horse’s ownership. It was the core malt within Mackie’s Old Smuggler and Old Gaelic brands which were hugely successful in Australia and South Africa.
White Horse – and therefore Craigellachie – became part of DCL but when that firm merged with IDV in 1998, the Monopolies Board insisted that it sell off some of its estate – specifically John Dewar & Sons and five distilleries, one of which was Craigellachie. They were snapped up by Bacardi which still owns the distillery.
The railway lines from Lossiemouth, Dufftown, Keith and Strathspey meet in Craigellachie for the first time
Charles Doig builds a modern distillery in the village for Sir Peter Mackie and Alexander Edward
Craigellachie Hotel built
Edward sells his share to Mackie, owner of White Horse Distillers
White Horse Distillers is bought by DCL
Two new stills are installed during a refurbishment
United Distillers sells Craigellachie, along with Aberfeldy, Aultmore and Brackla to John Dewar & Sons
Dewars relaunches Craigellachie as a single malt brand
CAPACITY (MLPA) i
CONDENSER TYPE i
FERMENTATION TIME i
FILLING STRENGTH i
GRIST WEIGHT (T) i
HEAT SOURCE i
Wash stills - pans, spirit stills - coils
MALT SPECIFICATION i
MALT SUPPLIER i
MASH TUN TYPE i
Steineker full Lauter
NEW-MAKE STRENGTH i
SPIRIT STILL CHARGE (L) i
SPIRIT STILL SHAPE i
SPIRIT STILL SIZE (L) i
WASH STILL CHARGE (L) i
WASH STILL SHAPE i
WASH STILL SIZE (L) i
WASHBACK SIZE (L) i
WASHBACK TYPE i
WATER SOURCE i
Blue Hill dam
WORT CLARITY i
YEAST TYPE i
Kerry Bio Science liquid yeast
1998 - present
John Dewar & Sons
1997 - 1998
1986 - 1997
Distillers Company Limited
1927 - 1986
Mackie & Co
1916 - 1927
1890 - 1916
CRAIGELLACHIE DISTILLERY ( 2017)
Mashing:Steinecker full lauter
Mash Tun:21 mashes a week
Washbacks:8 larch – 47.000 litres fill
Fermentation times: 56 – 60 hours
Stills:4 pair a 56.370 litres capacity
Wash still charge:23.500 litres
Spirirt still charge:23.000 litres
Capacity:4.1 000.000 litres
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.
27 March 1944: Alexander Edward (right) takes General Montgomery (left) fishing on the River Findhorn (photo: Forres Heritage Trust)
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
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.
Ambitious plans: Alexander Edward commissioned Charles Doig as architect of Aultmore distillery (photo: Archive of John Dewar & Sons Ltd)
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 well.
FIVE NEW MALTS JOIN EXCEPTIONAL CASK SERIES
New small batch and single cask whiskies from Aultmore, Craigellachie and Aberfeldy have joined the Exceptional Cask Series sold in travel retail.
Aultmore 1986 31 Years Old
Limited release: The Aultmore 31-year-old expression was matured in ex-Sherry casks
The five single malts are the latest to join the Bacardi-owned range of limited-availability whiskies, typically bottled as single cask, double-cask or small batch expressions.
The releases were chosen by Dewar’s master blender and malt master Stephanie MacLeod and are available from select airport retailers in numbered bottles.
Aultmore 1986 (31 Year Old) Single Cask; 54.7% abv; SGD4,000 (US$2,985)/70cl
Craigellachie 1992 (24 Year Old) Small Batch; 46% abv; SGD1,368 (US$1,000)/70cl
Craigellachie 1999 (17 Year Old) Small Batch with Palo Cortado Finish; 46% abv; £250 (US$340)/70cl
Aberfeldy 1984 (33 Year Old) Single Cask; 51.6% abv; €1,500 (US$1,800)/70cl
Aberfeldy 1999 (18 Year Old) Small Batch Port Finish; 43% abv; SGD180 (US$135)/75cl
The Aultmore expression, matured in an ex-Sherry cask, was originally created for airport retailer DFS and its Master of Spirits 2018 event, but is now available from select retailers in Asia Pacific.
‘Maturation is my favourite part of the whisky-making process,’ said MacLeod. ‘Once the whisky is in a Bourbon or a Sherry cask, you might expect certain outcomes, but you’re certain to have a few wonderful surprises along the way.
‘It’s a question of working with the whisky and the different elements at play in maturation to achieve the right outcome.’
CRAIGELLACHIE GIVES AWAY 51 YEAR OLD WHISKY
Craigellachie is giving away its newly launched 51-year-old whisky to fans for free, rather than bottle it for sale ‘to collect dust’.
Craigellachie 51 year old
Priceless malt: Craigellachie 51 Year Old will be shared with whisky lovers around the world without charge
In a move to rebuke ‘silly price tags’ charged for older Scotch whisky, the Speyside distillery has decided not to make its latest expression available for sale.
Instead of ‘sitting on a shelf for another 51 years collecting dust’, 51 bottles of Craigellachie 51 Year Old – ‘the world’s most uncollectable whisky’ – will be opened and shared with whisky fans around the world at special events throughout the year.
Georgie Bell, global malts ambassador for Craigellachie owner Bacardi, said the move is aimed at ‘finally shattering that glass ceiling’ of increasing whisky prices for bottles ‘that will never be drunk’.
She said: ‘This whisky has sat in a cask slumbering in a blanket of oak for 51 years. It would then potentially sit on somebody’s mantelpiece or shelf for another 51 years just in the bottle collecting dust, but whisky’s not made for that.
‘We wanted to do the unthinkable. We wanted to make a typically collectable Scotch more accessible.
‘We want to give as many people as we can the chance to try this incredible whisky, because how often does a whisky of this age and calibre actually get tasted?’
Craigellachie will host a pop-up bar – Bar 51 – from 26-28 November at Milroy’s in London, where just six seats will be made available at any one time.
The bar will offer pours of Craigellachie 51 as well as drams from within the distillery’s range free of charge.
Following its London debut, the bar will tour Australia, South Africa and the US over the coming months.
Just 150 tickets for Bar 51 will be allocated by ballot, with reservations opening to the public at 9am on 29 October at www.craigellachie.com/bar51.
Bottled from a single cask of whisky – distilled in 1962 at a time when Craigellachie’s two stills were coal fired – the 40.3% abv expression is described as having notes of ripe orchard fruits and waxed lemons, creamy vanilla and sweet cereal.
Stephanie Macleod, malt master for Craigellachie, said: ‘51 years encased in oak is an extraordinary length of time. Starting life in 1962 as an aggressive beast, the whisky over five decades has developed a softer side yet still retains the distinct umami, muscular note that Craigellachie is known for.’
Prices for single malt Scotch whisky have been increasing in recent years, with 50-year-old expressions from some distilleries fetching as much as £50,000.
In March this year Macallan released 200 bottles of a 50-year-old, each with a £25,000 price tag, while earlier this month Johnnie Walker unveiled its oldest whisky to date, also a 50-year-old, for US$25,000 a bottle.
In 2017 Dalmore released a £50,000 50-year-old, bottled in a Baccarat crystal decanter, to mark master blender Richard Paterson’s 50 years working in whisky.