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Imperial

The Ballintomb Burn rises in the Mannoch Hills before running some two and half miles to the Imperial distillery, not far from the village of Aberlour. The decidedly colonial-sounding Imperial was named for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897; construction having commenced that same year. Thomas Mackenzie founded the Imperial. The distillery was designed by the prolific architect Charles Doig.

The distillery lies in Moray, an eminent whisky region, though aesthetically the whisky distillery bares little semblance to its distilling neighbours; Imperial is made of Aberdeen red brick and utilizes an iron framework to protect the buildings from fire damage. Production was halted for two decades following the Pattison Crisis. Imperial reopened in 1919 following its acquisition by a group headed by Distillers Company Limited three years prior.

Closing once more in 1925, Imperial did not reopen until it was transferred to Scottish Malt Distillers in 1955. The maltings were upgraded a decade later with the addition of a Saladin box. Two further stills were also installed. The distillery had been closed for four years when Allied acquired it in 1989. Allied renovated Imperial and reopened it in 1991. It was mothballed in 1998 and passed on to Chivas Brothers in 2005 following their acquisition of Allied. The distillery remains woefully silent to this day, though there are, however, several independent bottlings and an official expression - a fifteen year-old.

Imperial Whisky Distillery

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About Imperial Whisky Distillery

Distillery Capacity

1 600 000 litres

Distillery Founded

1897

Distillery Address

Carron, Moray

Distillery Owner

Chivas Brothers

Distillery Status

Mothballed

1897

Thomas Mackenzie, who already owns Dailuaine and Talisker, founds the distillery helped by architect Charles Doig. The distillery’s name hints at Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee this year.

1898

The distillery is inaugurated in the summer and is administered by Thomas Mackenzie’s company Dailuaine-Talisker Distilleries Limited.

1899

The Pattison whisky crash forces the distillery to close.

1916

Imperial is bought by Distillers Company Limited (DCL), Dewar’s, Johnnie Walker and W. P. Lowrie.

1919

Production restarts.

1925

The distillery becomes fully owned by DCL and closes again although the maltings remains active.

1955

Imperial, now administered by Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD), reopens.

1965

The number of stills is doubled from two to four and a Saladin box is installed for malting.

1985

The distillery closes.

1989

Allied Distillers buys Imperial from United Distillers and starts refurbishing.

1991

Once again in operation.

1998

Imperial is mothballed.

2005

Chivas Brothers (Pernod Ricard) become new owners through the acquisition of Allied Domecq.

Reproduced from the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2009 with the kind permission of Mr Ingvar Ronde

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Duncan Taylor have bottled this single malt whisky from the Imperial Distillery for their Dimensions range of cask strength whiskies.  More info
$167.94
This is a very fine, malty Imperial from the Old Malt Cask range. It was distilled in October 1995 before a 17 year maturation in a single cask (a refill hogshead). It was then bottled in November...  More info
$132.94
A rare Imperial from Signatory, a single cask whisky presented at natural cask strength. Closed Distillery Magic.  More info
$101.03
Distilled in 1991 at Speyside's Imperial distillery. Bottled in 2006 by Gordon and MacPhail.  More info
$71.07
17 year old whisky from the now-closed Imperial distillery. Part of the prestigious Directors' Cut range. Distilled in October 1995 and bottled in February 2013, the outturn was just 99 bottles!  More info
$205.11
An 18 year old from the now silent Imperial Distillery. Part of the highly regarded Chieftain's Choice series from Ian MacLeod.  More info
This was distilled at Imperial on the 24th June 1982, aged in refill sherry butt number 3973 for 27 years and bottled by Signatory on the 8th April 2010. A release of 649 numbered bottles.  More info
$170.90
An 11 year old from the now mothballed Imperial distillery. This was distilled in 1998 and bottled by Duncan Taylor in 2010 for their NC2 range (non chillfiltered and non caramel coloured).  More info
Distilled in 1997, this 13 year old Imperial was bottled by Duncan Taylor in 2010 for their range of non chillfiltered, non caramel coloured single malts (NC2).  More info
Distilled at the Imperial distillery in 1995, this was aged for 15 years in two hogsheads. Bottled in 2011, a release of 737 bottles.  More info
$60.12
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