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Balblair Whisky

One of Scotland’s oldest distilleries, the Balblair distillery 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.

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