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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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Have you been sorely missing the Imperial distillery since it closed? Well, lucky for you, independent bottlers still manage to get their hands on their whisky and release it for all to enjoy! This is...  More info
£48.14
Un-chillfiltered single malt Scotch whisky from the sadly closed distillery Imperial. The two casks used for this release were filled in September 1995 and bottled by Signatory in October 2013...  More info
£41.85
A Signatory release of 18 year old Imperial single malt whisky, drawn from two consecutive casks and bottled with no chillfiltering. Considering that the Imperial distillery has been closed since...  More info
£46.05
A bottling of a 19-year-old Imperial single cask malt by Lorne Mackillop, who is descended from one of the survivors of the massacre of the Mackillop Clan at the hands of the english redcoats in 1745...  More info
Distilled in 1991 at Speyside's Imperial distillery. Bottled in 2006 by Gordon and MacPhail.  More info
£42.82
A vintage whisky from Gordon & MacPhail's Distillery Label range, this 2012 release was distilled in 1994 at Imperial, a now closed distillery, which in fact spent more of the last century closed than...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
£46.49
This whisky is from the moth-balled distillery of Imperial. Although the distillery is currently silent, independent bottlers such as Signatory have bottled previous stock for your delectation.  More info
£74.21
Bottled in March 2013 by Mackillop's; this 22 year old Imperial is ready to colonise your collection. Matured in bourbon cask 11972.  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
£102.96
This was distilled in October of 1976 at the Imperial distillery in Speyside. It was aged for 35 years in a refill butt and bottled in October 2011 at higher-than-usual bottling strength. Delicious...  More info
£105.93
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