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Balblair

One of Scotland’s oldest distilleries, Balblair was founded in 1790 by John Ross. The distillery lies in Edderton in the Northern Highlands, surrounded by rugged mountains, from whence the Allt Dearg - Balblair’s water source - springs. Following John Ross’s death in 1836, the distillery was passed down to his son, Andrew Ross. In 1872, he resited the distillery further up the hills on which it sits and converted the old buildings into warehousing facilities.

There is evidence that illicit distillation was carried out in the area of Edderton in the mid eighteenth century. The area was known as the ‘Parish of the Peats’ in reference to the prolific distillation and the abundance of peat in the surrounding soil. The distillery was forced to close during the First World War and did not reopen until 1949, a year after it was acquired for £48,000 by Keith-based lawyer, Robert ‘Bertie’ Cumming. Cumming ran the distillery until his retirement in 1970. In 1996, the distillery was sold by Allied Domecq to its current owners, Inver House Distillers. Just fifteen percent of Balblair’s 1.33 million litre capacity is sold as single malt, though there are many independent bottlings as well as a good range of official bottlings.

Balblair Whisky Distillery

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About Balblair Whisky Distillery

Distillery Number

01862 821273

Distillery Capacity

1 330 000 litres

Distillery Founded

1790

Distillery Status

Active

Distillery Address

Edderton, Ross-Shire

Distillery Owner

Inver House Distillers (Thai Beverages plc)

Distillery Website

www.balblair.com

1790

The distillery is founded by John Ross.

1824

The son Andrew Ross starts taking over, but moves to Brora after a couple of years and John Ross takes over again.

1836

The founder John Ross dies and Andrew Ross takes over with the help of his sons.

1872

New buildings replace the old.

1873

Andrew Ross dies and his son James takes over.

1894

Balnagowan Estate signs a new lease for 60 years with Alexander Cowan. He builds a new distillery, a few kilometres from the old.

1911

Cowan is forced to cease payments and the distillery closes. The staff sell out the whole stock in the 20-year period until 1932.

1941

Balnagowan Estate goes bankrupt and the distillery is put up for sale.

1948

The lawyer Robert Cumming from Keith buys Balblair for £48 000.

1949

Production restarts.

1970

Cumming sells Balblair to Hiram Walker. A third still is installed.

1988

Allied Distillers become new owners through the merger between Hiram Walker and Allied Vintners.

1996

Allied Domecq sells the distillery to Inver House Distillers.

2000

Balblair Elements and the first version of Balblair 33 years are launched.

2001

Thai company Pacific Spirits (part of the Great Oriole Group) takes over Inver House.

2004

Balblair 38 years is launched.

2005

12 year old Peaty Cask, 1979 (26 years) and 1970 (35 years) are launched.

2006

InverHouse changes owners when International Beverage Holdings acquires Pacific Spirits UK.

2007

Three new vintages replace the entire former range.

2008

Vintage 1975 is released.

Tasting Sets
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A 10 year old Balblair single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for Gordon and MacPhail's Distillery labels series. It matured in American oak hogsheads.  More info
$49.73
A half bottle of 10 year old single malt from the Eastern Highland distillery, Balblair, in Edderton. This was bottled by Gordon and MacPhail. Balblair is known for its whiskies which belie their...  More info
$24.81
Balblair 1969
(70cl, 41.40%)
Following the Balblair 1965, the distillery has dug deep into their stocks and uncovered some single malt Scotch whisky which was distilled in 1969! It was bottled in 2012 after spending 43 years in...  More info
$1958.92
Replacing the 1975 vintage, the Balblair 1983 is a lip-smackingly rich single malt Scotch whisky from the distillery in the Highlands. Matured in ex-bourbon barrels since 1983, it's got a palate...  More info
$300.06
As the world began its ten-year saunter towards the new Millennium, Balblair distilled this expression of their excellent single malt in 1990 and set it aside to mature in ex-bourbon casks. 21 years...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$129.73
This Balblair was distilled in 1991 and bottled by Gordon and MacPhail for their Private Collection. The whisky has been finished in a Crozes-Hermitage red wine cask for a rich fruity flavour.  More info
$119.65
The second release of 1999 vintage Balblair single malt Scotch whisky replaces the 1997 vintage in their core range. The ace Highland whisky was matured in a combination of American ex-bourbon barrels...  More info
$93.20
A 2003 vintage single malt Scotch whisky from the Balblair distillery. They were matured in second fill bourbon casks until 2013 when the whisky was popped in Balblair's stylish bottles.  More info
$63.68
Balblair 10 Year Old
(70cl, 40%)
A rare, discontinued bottling from the Balblair distillery, this 10 year old was released before the standard vintage range of whiskies. Expect plenty of spice, malt and a hint of smoke.  More info
$72.16
A 10 year old Highlander from the Balblair distillery in Edderton and bottled by Gordon and MacPhail. The Balblair distillery tends to produce whiskies that have character beyond their years and this...  More info
Distilled at Balblair in April 1990 and aged for 17 years in refill butt number 3930 before bottling in October 2007 by Douglas Laing. A release of 743 bottles.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
Balblair 1965 Single Cask
(70cl, 52.30%)
Part of a limited release of just 350, this rare single cask edition, distilled in 1965 was aged in American oak, sherry casks and exudes Balblair spice with a hint of rather beguiling smoke.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
A very old Balblair, bottled by Gordon and MacPhail. This was distilled in 1969 and bottled in 2008.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$295.16
A 1973 'vintage' Balblair from Gordon and MacPhail's Private Collection. From an outturn of but 385 bottles, this single malt was aged in sherry casks and pertains rich coffee and oak notes.  More info
Balblair 1975
(70cl, 46%)
Bottled in 2007 having been distilled in 1975, this Balblair single malt was aged in European oak casks that previously held maturing sherry.  More info
$293.84
This is the second edition of the superb Balblair 1975 - a rich whisky that is now the earliest vintage the distillery has to offer. Beautiful stuff, this was aged largely in American oak casks, which...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
Balblair 1978
(70cl, 46%)
A wonderful Balblair, the 1978 vintage was aged in American oak bourbon barrels. It's sweet, spice and full bodied. Delish!  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
This is an old Balblair bottled by the chaps at Gordon and MacPhail all for your delectation!  More info
$244.09
Balblair 1989
(70cl, 43%)
As part of a trio of vintages launched in February of 2007, this 1989 'vintage' from the Balblair distillery is another superb example, exhibiting that beautiful vanilla spice, cereal sweetness we...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
This is the third release of Balblair 1989, a great malt which was matured in ex-bourbon barrels.
As with the 2001 vintage, launched in November 2011, this expression is non-chill-filtered, and...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
This delicious 1990 vintage is a Balblair with a difference. In fact, it sees the usually spicy, malty whisky imbued with a gloriously peaty flavour. Rather than add the peat in the traditional way...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$196.22
This Balblair was distilled in 1992 and bottled by hand in 2011.  More info
$149.19
Balblair 1997
(70cl, 43%)
The youngest of the trio of 2007 released Balblair 'vintages', this Balblair single malt enjoyed maturation in first fill ex-bourbon casks and it is pleasant to see whisky from the distillery standing...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.0/5)
This is the second release of a 1997 vintage from the Highland distillery of Balblair. Balblair bucked convention a few years back by replacing age-statement with vintages like those of wine bottles.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
20 year old single cask Balblair, distilled on the 13th June 1990, aged in sherry butt number 166 (as you'll note from the rich colour), and bottled for the Bladnoch forum on the 14th June 2010.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
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