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Tullibardine

The modern Tullibardine whisky distillery was reopened in 1947, and the spirit ran from the stills two years later. The site was once home to a brewery which allegedly brewed ale for King James IV’s coronation in 1488. The brewery was actually built in the 12th century, so it’s fair to say the Tullibardine distillery has had an incredibly long history.

Named for Tullibardine Moor, the distillery draws its water from the Danny Burn and lies to the south-west of Blackford. The area is renowned for the purity of its water, indeed Highland Spring is bottled locally. Queen Helen, the wife of King Magnus of Alba, drowned in a ford after falling from her horse not far from the town and Blackford was named accordingly.

Following purchase by Invergordon in 1971, Tullibardine’s stills capacity was increased from two to four. Two decades later, Invergordon was acquired by Whyte and Mackay and a year later the whisky distillery was shut down. In December of 2003, the distillery was put back into production following the June acquisition of Tullibardine for the sum of £1.1 million. A year later a Café and Shop were opened at the Tullibardine distillery, which today has a capacity of 2.5 million litres per annum.

Tullibardine Whisky Distillery

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About Tullibardine Whisky Distillery

Distillery Founded

1947

Distillery Capacity

2 500 000 litres

Distillery Status

Active

Distillery Address

Blackford, Perthshire

Distillery Owner

Tullibardine Distillery Ltd

Distillery Website

www.tullibardine.com

1100s

A brewery was built on the site of today’s Tullibardine distillery.

1488

The Scottish King, James IV, purchases beer produced at the brewery. The brewery sources water from the same spring that the modern Tullibardine distillery currently uses.

1824

James McKilligan & Co. builds the distillery which is known as Mill of Banff and, later on, as Inverboyndie Distillery.

1837

Major McKilligan dies and Alex Mackay takes over.

1852

James Simpson takes over together with his son James junior.

1863

The distillery outgrows itself and James junior builds a new one in the village Inverboyndie which thereafter is called Banff Distillery. The managing company changes name to Simpson & Co.

1877

On 9th May a fire devastates most of the distillery except the warehouse and the maltings. Rebuilding starts quickly and it is operational again in October.

1921

The Simpson family sells part of the distillery to Mile End Distillery Company.

1924

Triple distillation ceases.

1932

Simpson & Co. files for bankruptcy and Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD) takes over at a price of £50 000.

1941

A German warplane bombs warehouse number 12 on 16th August and thousands of litres of whisky are destroyed.

1947

The Tullibardine distillery is reopened. The first spirit runs from the stills two years later.

1953

The distillery is sold to Brodie Hepburn.

1959

One of the stills explodes.

1971

Invergordon Distillers buys Brodie Hepburn Ltd.

1973

The number of stills doubles from two to four.

1983

Banff Distillery and ten others are closed by DCL.

1985

The distillery buildings are demolished.

1991

The remaining buildings are destroyed in a fire.

1993

Whyte & Mackay (owned by Fortune Brands) buys Invergordon Distillers.

1994

Tullibardine is mothballed.

1996

Whyte & Mackay changes name to JBB (Greater Europe).

2001

JBB (Greater Europe) is bought out from Fortune Brands by management and changes name to Kyndal (Whyte & Mackay from 2003).

2003

A consortium including Michael Beamish buys Tullibardine in June for £1.1 million. The distillery is in production again by December. The first official bottling from the new owners is a 10 year old from 1993.

2004

Diageo launches a 21 year old cask strength in their Rare Malt series.

2005

Three wood finishes from 1993, port, muscatel and marsala are launched together with a 1986 John Black selection.

2006

Vintage 1966 (plus a special World Cup version), Sherry Wood 1993 and a new John Black selection are launched.

2007

Five different wood finishes are released as well as a couple of single cask vintages.

2008

A Vintage 1968 40 year old is released.

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

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