Go to content

Main menu:


Whisky Collection Bar > S

21 years old 58,8 %                     
Distilled 1978
Bottled 1999
Cask No. 2867
Genummerde flessen
Bottle in Basket
Speyburn Distillery, Rothes, Moray

Speyburn Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky was first produced on the 15th December 1897, the diamond jubilee year of Queen Victoria.
Distilled in the famous Speyside region of the Scottish Highlands, Speyburn is the only Highland distillery to use the renowed soft water from Granty Burn, a major tributary of the River Spey in the production of its whisky.

This limited edition is packaged in a traditional hand crafted wicker basket emphasising its association with salmon fishing for which the River Spey is famous.
Each bottle has been individually numbered and displays the cask number from which it has been produced.
Inver House Distillers Ltd, Airdrie, Lanarkshire.

18 years old 40 %                        
Distilled 1971
Bottled 1989
Proprietors: John Robertson & Co, Ltd
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

12 years old 43 %                        
Distilled 1980
Bottled 1992
Speyburn Distillery, Rothes, Moray

Speyburn is an unusually compact distillery. Owing to its hilly location, on the outskirts of Rothes, it comprises buildings two and three storeys high. Established in 1897 it was the first malt distillery to install a mechanical malting system consiting of rotating drums. Water from the Grant Burn is used to produce this light, sweet single malt Scotch Whisky with an oaky finish.

10 years old 40 %                        
Speyburn Distillery, Rothes, Moray
10 years old 50%                      
Single Cask Bottling
Distilled January 1990
Bottled July 2000
450 Bottles
No Colouring
Douglas Laing & Co, Ltd, Glasgow

28 years old 40%                     
Distilled 1974
Bottled 2001
Proprietors: John Robertson & Co, Ltd
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin
Bradan Orach ( golden salmon) intrduced in 2008 without an age statement and special
for the American market.
40 %                                                                   
Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky                                                      
The Speyburn Distillery, Rothes, Moray
Speyburn Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky was first distilled on the 15th of December
1897, the diamond jubilee year of Queen Victoria.
Situated in the world – famous  Speyside region of the Scottish Highlands, Speyburn is the
only distillery to use the fresh spring water from the Granty Burn, one of the major tributaries
of the River Spey and renowned for its excellent salmon fishing.
The clear soft waters of the Granty Burn are at the heart of Speyburn Bradan Orach, a classic
Speyside single malt with a bright, golden – amber colour.
On the nose, Bradan Orach reveals green apples, honey, lemon and floral vanilla spices, and  the palate is wonderfully balanced and full – bodied with a long – lasting finish.

1897          John and Edward Hopkins and their cousin Edward Broughton start
                John Hopkins & Co and found Speyside Distillery
                Building Speyburn distillery costs 17.000 pound
                Architect is Charles Cree Doig
               John Hopkins & Co already owns Tobermory distillery on Mull
               The Speyburn Distillery is transferred to Speyburn – Glenlivet Distillery Company
1916        Distillers Company Limited (D.C.L.) acquires John Hopkins & Co and the
                Tobermory and Speyburn distilleries
1930          Speyburn is closed
1934          Speyburn produces again
1962          Speyburn is transferred to Scottish Malt Distillers (S.M.D.)
1968          Drum malting closes
1991          Inver House Distillers acquires Speyburn Distillery
1992          a 10 years old Speyburn replaces the 12 years old in the Flora & Fauna series
2001          Pacific Spirits (Great Oriole Group) buys Inver Hoiuse Distillers for $ 85.000.000
2005          Speyburn 25 years old Solera is launched
2006          International Beverage Holdings buys Pacific Spirits U.K.
2009          The Bradan Orach is launched, an un-aged single malt whisky, at first for the
                the United States
2012         Clan Speyburn is formed, a whisky club especially for Speyburn lovers
Speyburn gets a £4m boost
26 February, 2014
Inver House Distillers is to invest £4 million to double production capacity at its Speyburn Distillery. Work is set to be completed by the end of 2014.
Speyburn is part of the Inver House Distillers portfolio, which is owned by International Beverage Holdings. The distillery investment will increase Speyburn’s production capacity from 1.8 million litres to more than 4 million litres each year, allowing the business to lay down stock for predicted future growth in both established and emerging markets. According to a statement, the brand’s volume growth is forecast at 15% for the 2013/2014 period.
The expansion design is expected to “significantly reduce the distillery’s energy consumption per litre of alcohol and improve its carbon footprint, with predicted energy savings of more than 20% once the extended distillery is up and running”.
Rothes-based whisky specialists Forsyths have been contracted to manufacture all new production equipment and Elgin-based construction company Robertson is to undertake some elements of the project.
Inver House Distillers’ managing director Graham Stevenson said: “As we continue to be very optimistic about the long term potential for Scotch whisky, particularly in the emerging BRIC, African and South East Asian economies, investment in our production capabilities is crucial. Having the infrastructure in place to produce our high quality whiskies in greater quantities will be key to the future success of our brands, so we are delighted to see the first phase of this major programme of work get underway at Speyburn Distillery.”
Inver House Distillers, maker of Old Pulteney, Balblair and Speyburn whiskies, is upping capacity as it targets overseas growth thanks to a £10 million funding package.
The Airdrie-headquartered group will use part of the financing, which has been agreed with Bank of Scotland, to support the construction of 12 additional warehouses, creating space for a further 120,000 casks of whisky. Current capacity stands at some 500,000 casks.
Investment at the Speyburn distillery will see production there more than double, producing 4.2 million litres of whisky per annum in order to meet demand for growing international markets.
Managing director of Inver House, Graham Stevenson, said: “The success of our brands on the global stage, specifically Speyburn, means that we’re very much in growth mode. “The whisky industry is buoyant, despite various economic and political uncertainties around the globe. The longer term demographics and prospects of the emerging markets are very positive and we need to be prepared for these opportunities.”
Mark Hull, relationship director at Bank of Scotland, added: “The management board of Inver House Distillers is highly experienced and operationally strong with a proven track record and we look forward to working with them as they realise their international expansion targets.”
Inver House – established in 1964 – employs 204 people across its six sites in Scotland and generates revenues of more than £80m. Key export markets include Russia and the US.
Aged  25 years  46 %                                        3                                              
Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky                                                
No Colouring                                                
Not Chill Filtered                                               
The Speyburn Distillery Col, Ltd, Rothes, Moray
Established in 1897 on the outskirts of Rothes, Speyburn is one of the most picturesque
distilleries in Scotland. The Spey valley with his fast – flowing River Spey is famous as
the home of many of the world’s finest Scotch Whiskies and Speyburn 25 years Old
Highland Single Malt Whisky proudly takes its place among this select group. Speyburn
Is the only distillery to use the renowed soft water from the Granty Burn, a tributary of
the River Spey.
This Speyburn 25 Year Old  SOLERA  is neither chill – filtered nor coloured. It is bottled
in its most natural form giving it a superior quality and mouthfeel.
It is a marriage of Speyburn Single Malt Whiskies from various types of cask. American
fino sherry casks and bourbon casks have been carefully selected by Bobby Anderson,
Distillery Manager for this SOLERA  bottling. The SOLERA system is a continuous
method of blending the casks together and the end result is a Single Malt Whisky of
superior quality and consistency.
Tasting Notes:
Appearance: Light chardonnay with a golden hue
Aroma: Sweet honey notes with fragrant floral overtones, hints of citrus fruits
Taste: Full bodied and sweet to start; traces of toffee, vanilla and dried fruit,
(raisins); well balanced with a smooth long finish.
Highland Malt
Rothes, Morayshire. Licentiehouder: John Robertson & Sons Ltd, Leith. Onderdeel van Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd, (S.M.D.). Eigendom van Guinness.
Gesticht door John, Edward en Edward Broughton Hopkins, van John Hopkins & Co, Ltd, blenders en exporteurs van Old Mull en Glengarry Scotch Whiskies.
Samen met John Carle, een bankier te Rothes kochten zij een stuk grond op Auchinroath Estate, verkochten het land voor E 17.000 aan de Speyburn - Glenlivet Distillery Co, Ltd.
John Hopkins kreeg het recht om jaarlijks 90.000  liter spirit te kopen tegen kostprijs + 15 % en werd alleen verkoper van de whisky.
De kapaciteit van Speyburn was 450.000 liter spirit per jaar.
John Hopkins & Co, Ltd was medeeigenaar van Glenlossie en eigenaar van Ledaig op Muil.
Het plan was om Speyburn in produktie te hebben op 1 November 1897, de datum van Ko­ningin Victoria's Diamanten Jubileum.
Speyburn ging de laatste week van December in produktie.
De eerste tijd waren er nog geen deuren en ramen in de distilleerderij, zodat de werk-mensen in overjassen hun werk moesten doen.
Speyburn, prachtig gelegen in een klein dal, met een heel goede waterbron, Granty Burn en in de nabijheid van de spoorlijn Elgin - Aberdeen.
Nadeel van de plek was de geringe oppervlakte, er moest in de hoogte worden gebouwd.
De architekt was Charle Doig, de hoofdgebouwen werden drie verdiepingen hoog, de lager­pakhuizen twee.
Het was voor die tijd heel modern en voorzien van Henning's pneumatische mouteirij sy­steem, de eerste in gebruik in een distilleerderij.
Dit systeem bleef negentig jaar in bedrijf.
De Distillers Company Ltd nam John Hopkins & Co, Ltd in 1916 over, en ook The Speyburn -Glenlivet Distillery Co, Ltd.
De zijlijn naar de spoorlijn was er nooit gekomen, en de kolen, gerst en vaten werden met paard en wagen naar het station gebracht, en later in de vijftiger jaren met een tractor en aanhangwagen,
In 1962 hield The Speyburn - Glenlivet Distillery Ltd op te bestaan en Speyburn werd het eigendom van Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd.
In 1966 werd de spoorlijn gesloten.
Speyburn was gesloten van 1930 tot 1934 en gedurende de tweede wereldoorlog.
De produktie werd weer opgestart in 1947.
In 1950 werd Speyburn aangesloten op het electriciteitsnet.
De twee kolengestookte ketels gingen in 1962 over op verhitting door stoom.
De brouwerij werd herbouwd in 1968 en opnieuw uitgerust in 1974.
In 1992 wordt Speyburn overgenomen door Inver House.
De firma John Hopkins & Co, Ltd, leeft nog steeds voort als licentiehouder van Oban (sinds 1930).
Inver House.
Publicker Industries Inc te Philadelphia in de Verenigde Staten introduceerden in 1950 een nieuw merk blended whisky: Inver House.
Omdat de Schotten onwillig en / of niet in staat waren voldoende graan- en maltwhisky te leveren bouwde Publicker in 1965 zelf een eigen graan- en maltdistilleerderij met een bot-tel- en blendingfabriek te Airdrie in de Lowlands.
Het gebouwencomplex staat bekend als Moffat.
Men bracht een single malt whisky uit Glen Flagler, nu al jaren niet meer verkrijgbaar.
In 1973 werd Bladnoch gekocht maar in 1983 weer verkocht aan Bell's.
Loch Lomond Lomond werd in 1985 overgenomen van Amalgameted Distilled Products en wat later weer verkocht aan Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse Ltd.
In 1988 was er een management buy-out.
De graandistilleerderij te Airdrie werd gesloten en Inver House werd van een buikleve­rancier een merken leverancier.
In 1988 werd de blend Hanky Bannister gekocht van I.D.V.
Op 10 November 1989 werd The Knockdhu gekocht van United Distillers Ltd.
In 1992 kwam de blend Catto, afkomstig van I.D.V. in hun bezit.
In 1993 werd Speyburn overgenomen van United Distillers Ltd.
Overige blends van Inver House zijn: Inver House Green Plaid, Inver House Red Plaid, Pinwinnie, MacArthur's, alsmede de vatted malt Blairmhor en de whiskylikeur Heather Cream.
In 1995 koopt Inver House zowel (Old) Pulteney als Balblair van Allied Domecq.
December 1996 wordt Balmenach overgenomen van United Distillers Ltd.
Balmenach was al sinds Mei 1993 niet meer in produktie en is weer opgestart door Inver House. De kosten hiervan bedroegen € 250.000.
Het proceswater komt van Granty Burn, het koelwater van de Broad Burn.
De Mash tun is 5,5 ton.
Er staan zes Wash backs, elk 26.200 liter.
De Wash still is 17.297 liter, de Spirit still 13.160 liter en worden met stoom verhit.
De jaarproduktie is 1,2 miljoen liter spirit.
Speyburn Historical Notes:
The founders of Speyburn were John Hopkins & Co, Ltd of London and Glasgow. Spey­burn Distillery went into production on the 15th December 1897. The distillery is known as 'The Gibbet' because of its situation near the ancient 'Cnock na Croiche' or 'Hillock of the Gibbet'.
The first manager was Mr John Smith who held the position for 31 years. The ori­ginal capacity was 100.000 gallons. Speyburn was the first Scottish Malt Distillery to install a steamdriven mechanical malting system. A tractor replaced the distil­lery's horse and cart in the 1950's which was used to transport the coal, barley adn casks from Rothes Station. 1962 Speyburn's two stills were converted to internal heating by steam from a coal-fired boiler. 1992 Speyburn 10 year old Single High­land Malt Whisky is marketed world-wide.
Ontstaan door een management - buy - out, onder leiding van Bill Robertson en Angus Graham, die € 8,2 miljoen investeerden.
November 2001 werd Inver House voor E 56 miljoen gekocht door Pacific Spirits, onderdeel van de op de Virgin Islands gevestigde Great Oriole Group van de Thaise zakenman Charoen Sirivadhanabakdi.
Manager van Pacific Spirits is Ooi Boon Aun.
Robertson en Graham ontvangen samen € 37 miljoen en ook de 130 medewerkers ontvangen geld, sommigen € 50.000.
Inbegrepen in de koop zijn de vijf distilleerderijen Knockdhu, Speyburn, (Old) Pulteney Balblair en Balmenach.
Speyburn Distillery sits nestling in a valley on the northern edge of Rothes. There is a timeless feel and an air of serenity-the type of place whisky was meant to be made.
The distillery has a compact layout, due mainly to the geography of the land. The architekt, Charles Doig, designed the distillery using height as opposed to width. The unique drum maltings occupy a smaller area than conventional floor maltings and other buildings, in­cluding the cask warehouses, are on two or three levels.
Very little has changed over the last 100 years with most of the original features still intact - indeed still being used.
Although the maltings are no longer in production, the malt deliveries are stored in the original A wooden malt hoppers.
Once milled the grist and hot water is transferred to a traditional rake mash tun from which 25.000 litres of wort is pumped into Douglas Fir wash backs.
The still room has never been extended and houses a single pair of stills. True to form the alcohol vapours are condensed using over 100 metres of copper pipe immersed in cold water worm tubs.
Speyburn is highly sought after by Blenders and the majority of the spirit is tankered away to be filled at external locations for blending purposes.
The reameining spirit is filled into casks and stored in one of two warehouses. Both have two floors and use wooden rails and tables to store casks two and three high. It is spirit that will slowly mature and eventually be bottled as Speyburn Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
John Hopkins had been insistent that the distillery should commence production on le No­vember 1897 to ensure that the first fillings would coincide with the year of Queen Vic­toria's Diamond Jubilee.
By the last week in December, with no doors or windows fitted, the distillery started pro­duction. With a blizzard blowing through the stillhouse, Hopkins wish was achieved with 1 butt of Speyburn being bonded bearing the year 1897.
When the distillery was designed, the decision was taken to install a Henning's Pneumatic Drum Maltings. There would have been a number of benefits: less space required: less manual work (no malt to turn) and the maltings could operate all year round.
The maltings were set out on three levels. The barley was stored on the top level before being passed down into one of three steeps on the middle floor. One steep then filled two germinatio drums which slowly revolved to stop the rootlets matting together. After several days the green malt was transferred to the kiln for drying. Again the Speyburn maltings were slightly different - there were two drying floors, one above another. Green Malt would have been 'pre-dried' on the top floor before being dropped down onto the bottom floor.
Speyburn was the first malt distillery to have this type of maltings, although Glen Grant and Linlithgow Distilleries subsequently had drum maltings installed.
Nosing the new make Speyburn spirit yiels a rich, rounded aroma with hints of spice and a nutty oiliness. This richness will be due, in no small part, to the size and shape of the stills coupled with the use of worm tubs. The Still are relatively small with wide necks which will help capture the maximum amount of flavour and character.
Speyburn Distillery
Rothes, Morayshire
                                                  The founders of Speyburn were John Hopkins, Edward Hopkins, and Edward Broughton Hopkins, mem­bers of the firm of John Hop­kins & Co. Ltd., of London and Glasgow, blenders of Old Mull and Glengarry Scotch whiskies. In conjunc­tion with John Carle, banker, of Rothes, they agreed to build a distillery on a piece of ground they had acquired on the Auchinroath estate, and to sell it to the Speyburn-Glenlivet Distillery Co. Ltd. The price was £17,000, of which £10,000 would be paid by the issue of a hundred shares of £100 each, and £7,000 in cash. John Hopkins & Co. would have the right to buy 20,000 gallons per annum at the rate of 15% above cost, and to act as sole sales agent for thebalance of the make. The annual capacity was 100,000 gallons.
John Hopkins had been a partner in Glenlossie Distillery, and had the benefit of local knowl­edge when the site of Speyburn was prospected. Its advantages included an unpolluted and hitherto unused supply of desirable water, and a location on the old road from Rothes to El­gin, within a few feet of the railway line which then ran to Aberdeen and the South via Craig­ellachie.
The agreement, made in July 1897, provided that the distillery should be in complete working order by 1 November. It is said that the directors wished to get it into production by that time so that the first fillings could bear the date of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The deadline was not met; but Speyburn did manage to start up in the last week of December. The still­house had not yet been fitted with doors and windows; and as a severe snowstorm was sweeping the district, employees had to work in overcoats. Just one butt was bonded with the date 1897 on its head.
The architect, Charles Doig of Elgin, devised a simple, functional design. "The buildings have been made very compact", the Northern Scot reported on 2 February 1898, because "the hilly nature of the ground" required the substitution of height for breadth. The main block stood three storeys high, and the warehouses two storeys. According to local tradition, the walls were built with stones "extracted by man and beast" from the former bed of the River Spey. The makings at the west end, also three storeys high, had walls of poured concrete.
Speyburn, the Northern Scot added, was equipped with "all the latest and most approved appliances of plant and machinery, no expense being spared and every care taken in con­struction to ensure smoothness of working". More particularly, the makings represented a daring innovation. At that time, and for many years thereafter, it was the almost universal practice for malt whisky distillers to germinate barley on open floors, where growth was en­couraged by manual techniques. Speyburn's builders preferred to instal Henning's pneumatic malting system, "only the second working plant of this kind at a distillery in Scotland, and the first at a malt distillery". In this system, barley was induced to germinate in a set of six drums, which were rotated mechanically. Malt was dried in two stages in a double kiln, one on top of the other.
    The malting machinery continued to be used for ninety years. It was originally driven by a steam engine of 12 h.p. A similar engine drove the machinery in the mash house. Both had been re­placed by engines of 25 h.p. by 1924.
The Distillers Company Limited, of Edinburgh, bought John Hopkins   &  Co.   Ltd.   in   1916,   and  eventually  acquired  The Speyburn-Glenlivet Dis­tillery Co. Ltd. The latter company was wound up in 1962 and Speyburn was transferred to another subsidiary, Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd.
When Speyburn was first built, the own­ers "contemplated having a siding con­structed from the railway line along the west side of the distillery". This plan was not carried out. Supplies of coal, barley and empty casks were being conveyed from Rothes Station by the distillery's horse and cart in 1924, and by tractor and trailer in the 1950's. The railway line closed in 1966.
The distillery was closed from 1930 to 1934, as a result of the economic depression, and again in the second world war. It accom­modated an artillery unit of the 51st (Highland) Division from 1940 to 1942, followed by an­other from the 52nd (Lowland)Division from 1942 until 1944. They parked their guns in the distillery yard.
Speyburn resumed production in 1947. When a new manager arrived three years later, the machinery in the makings was driven by electric power from the national grid. He recalls that the steam engine, the head maltman's "pride and joy" was kept in perfect working order. In the event of a power failure, steam could be raised at a moment's notice. Its surface "was polished to high heaven, not with oil, but with fine emery paper: you could use it as a shaving mirror". The other steam engine worked the elevators, the malt mill, the mashing machinery and the switchers in the tunroom. Both had gone by the early 1960's.
Speyburn's two stills were externally heated by coal-burning furnaces until 1962, when they were converted to internal heating by steam from a coal-fired boiler, fitted with a chain-grate stoker. This boiler was itself converted to oil-firing in 1971. The mash-house was rebuilt in 1968 and re-equipped in 1974.
The distillery covers a site of 3 acres (1.2 hectares). Its process water is piped from a dam on the Granty (or Birchfield) Burn, which has its source in a spring on the western slopes of the Glen of Rothes. This burn joins the Millstonefield (or Auchin-roath) Burn just below the dam. The combined stream, the Broad Burn, flows past the distillery, where it was dammed in about 1957 to provide a supply of piped water for cooling.
John Robertson & Sons Ltd. of Leith are the licensed distillers. They are the blenders of Robertson's Yellow Label Scotch Whisky.
©1982                                                                                        Written by Brian Spiller
The Distillers Company p.l.c.                                                     Drawing by John Ross
Public Relations Department                                                      Produced and printed
20  St. James's Square                                                               in Great Britain by
London SW1Y 4JF                                                                     Menage Graphic Production Ltd
SPEYBURN Distillery Facts:
Water source:                                    Granty Burn
Malt Source:                                       Portgordon Maltings
Malt type:                                           Optic-unpeated
Malt storage:                                      100 T
Mill Type:                                           Boby
Grist Storage:                                     2 Grist Hoppers, only 1 uesed - 5.5 T
Mash Tun Construction:                      Traditional
Mash Size:                                         5.5 T
No. of Wash Backs:                            6
Wash Back Contruction:                     Douglas Fir
Wash Back Capacity:                          35.000L, charges with 25.000 wort
Yeat:                                                 Distillers
No. of Wash Stills:                              1
Wash Still Charge:                              12.500L
Heat Source:                                      Steam kettles
Wash Still Shape:                               Onion
No. of Spirit Stills:                               1
Spirit Still Charges:                             11.500L
Heat Source:                                      Steam Coils
Spirit Still Shape:                                Onion
Current Annual Distillery:                     1.4m litres of alcohol
Output (2005):                                    
Cask Storage:                                    2 double storey dunnage warehouses - 5.000 casks
1897    Founded by John Hopkins & Co, Ltd, London and Glasgow
John Hopkins also owned Tobermory Distillery on Mull
John Hopkins & Co, Ltd taken over by D.C.L.
Distillery Closed
Distillery Closed and used as a base for two Scottish Artillery Regiments
Speyburn's two stills converted to indirect steam heating from cola-fired
Drum Maltings cease operation
1992    Inverhouse purchase distillery from United Distillers
Back to content | Back to main menu