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Founded in 1819, under the name Clynelish, the distillery was established by the Marquis of Stafford who, after marrying into the Sutherland family, became the first Duke of Sutherland. The distillery was initially intended to take some proportion of local whisky supply away from the area's smuggling fraternity.

After purchase in 1896 by James Ainslie & Heilbron, a Glasgow-based blending company, the distillery was rebuilt and still retains the floor maltings and kiln that were then installed. In 1967, a build commenced on a new distillery, also named Clynelish, located just across the road from the original Clynelish. The build was completed a year later and the former Clynelish distillery was renamed Brora (pronounced ‘Broar-err’) in 1969. The name derives from the Old Norse ‘Bru’r aa’ meaning ‘the bridges river’.

Brora was purchased in 1930 by Scottish Malt Distillers, who later became a subsidiary of Diageo. Closing in May of 1983, the buildings that made up the Brora distillery are now used by the new Clynelish distillery as a visitor centre and warehouse. Clynelish remains active with a large capacity of 4.2m litres per annum thanks to a seven day working week.

Clynelish Whisky Distillery

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About Clynelish Whisky Distillery

Distillery Number

01408 623000

Distillery Founded


Distillery Capacity

4 200 000 litres

Distillery Status


Distillery Address

Brora, Sutherland

Distillery Owner


Distillery Website


The 1st Duke of Sutherland, founds a distillery called Clynelish Distillery.


The first licensed distiller, James Harper, files for bankruptcy and John Matheson takes over.


Andrew Ross takes over the license.


George Lawson & Sons takes over.


James Ainslie & Heilbron takes over.


James Ainslie & Co. narrowly escapes bankruptcy and Distillers Company Limited (DCL) takes over together with James Risk.


John Walker & Sons buys a stake of James Risk’s stocks.


DCL buys out Risk.


The distillery is mothballed.


Production restarts.


The distillery becomes electrified.


A new distillery is built adjacent to the first one, it is also named Clynelish and both operate in parallel from August.


‘Old’ Clynelish is mothballed in August.


‘Old’ Clynelish is reopened as Brora and starts using a very peaty malt.


Brora is closed in March.


A 14 year old is released.


A Distiller´s Edition 1991 finished in Oloroso casks is released.

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

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This is a 1997 vintage Clynelish single malt Scotch whisky, bottled by Belgian bottlers, The Nectar, as part of their wonderful Nectar of the Daily Drams range.  More info
A surprising non-age-statement expression, released as part of Diageo's 2014 Special Releases. This Clynelish single malt is made from five vintages and five types of cask - this includes American...  More info
This is an 18 year old Clynelish single malt Scotch whisky, bottled as part of Hunter Laing's Old & Rare Platinum range. It was distilled in October 1996 and left to mature in a refill hogshead for 18...  More info
An independent bottling of Clynelish single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 1995 and bottled in 2014 at 19 years old and 54.8% ABV. Before it was bottled by Duncan Taylor, it was given a short...  More info
The 1993 vintage from Diageo's range of Distillers Editions. This Clynelish was finished in Oloroso seco casks, and it proffers a wonderfully fruity, waxy flavour. Well worth a try.  More info
From La Maison du Whisky's The Ten range comes a 2008 Clynelish single malt Scotch whisky, which was matured in bourbon casks and bottled at 40.1% ABV in 2014. The Ten range sees 10 whiskies arranged...  More info
This is one of the wonderful array of Distillers Editions from Diageo, with this one specifically coming from the well-loved Clynelish distillery up in the Highlands. It was distilled in 1997 and...  More info
Bottled for Gordon & MacPhail's Cask Strength range of independently bottled whiskies, this is a 15 year old Clynelish single malt. It was distilled in the heady days of December 1998 and left to age...  More info
Single cask Clynelish single malt Scotch whisky, bottled by Duncan Taylor for their Dimensions range. This Highlands single malt was distilled back in June 1995 and left to mature in cask #4676 for 19...  More info
Independently bottled Clynelish - yum yum yum... This one comes to us by way of Douglas Laing's Old Particular range, and was matured from April 1997 to May 2015 in a single refill hogshead. Just 216...  More info
16 year old single cask Clynelish? Yes please! This tasty fellow was distilled in 1997, then matured in cask 6871 until 2014, when it was bottled by the talented chaps at Berry Bros. & Rudd (with no...  More info
26 year old Clynelish single malt Scotch whisky, presented as part of the very impressive Duncan Taylor Single range. It was distilled in October 1988 and left to age in a single Sherry cask for over...  More info
Independent bottlings of Clynelish remain popular for the simple reason that they taste amazing. If you like fruity whiskies with a little salt and smoke, this could be your thing.  More info
Ooh, independently bottled Clynelish! Yum yum yum... This 20 year old single malt from the Clynelish distillery comes to us by the way of Gleann Mór's A Rare Find range. From January 1995 to January...  More info
Clynelish 14 Year Old
(70cl, 46%)
This is a superb example of what Clynelish can produce even at younger age. The balance is sublime and the mouthfeel is perfectly rounded. A great 14 year old Highland malt, quite coastal too.  More info
User Rating:  (31 Reviews)
A 12 year old single cask Clynelish, matured in refill hogshead 5609 before bottling by Douglas Laing. Distilled in Autumn 1997 and bottled in Autumn 2009.  More info
A cask strength Clynelish, bottled by Gordon and MacPhail. This was matured in refill sherry casks and the bottlers describe it as being "Fresh with classic Highland style".  More info
A release of 425 bottles of vintage Clynelish, distilled on the 11th February 1997, matured in hogshead 1617 for 11 years before bottling on the 9th December 2008 by Signatory.  More info
A stunning Clynelish, distilled in 1997. This was originally aged in bourbon then finished in premier cru Médoc from Château Lafite. In 2008, it was bottled at the Bruichladdich distillery, and...  More info
A very rare edition from the Flora and Fauna back catalogue. This is one of the originals that came in a wooden presentation case, and is very hard to find. Offers up lovely malty, coastal, sherry...  More info
From Signatory's Unchillfiltered range, this was distilled at Clynelish on the 18th December 1992 and bottled on the 9th December 2009. This is from two hogsheads, numbers 17260 and 17261. A release...  More info
This was distilled in the Spring of 1998 at the Clynelish distillery. It was aged for 12 years in refill hogshead number 6057 before bottling for the Douglas Laing Provenance range in Spring of 2010.  More info
A 19 year old Clynelish, bottled by Signatory on the 16th June 2009. Matured in sherry butt number 3950, part of an outturn of 754 bottles.  More info
A Douglas Laing bottled Clynelish distilled in Autumn 1996 and aged for 11 years in two refill hogsheads (casks 4187 and 4188) before bottling in Spring 2007.  More info
Single cask whisky from Clynelish, bottled by Speciality Drinks. This was distilled on the 27th May 1992 and matured in bourbon barrel number 5871 before bottling on the 20th April 2009 as part of an...  More info
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