The buildings of the Glen Elgin distillery are rather modest, this being due to a lack of funding when it was first built in 1898. The whisky distillery was designed by the renowned Charles Doig, who heralded from the namesake town, Elgin. Despite the size and the decidedly low annual production capacity of 1.83 million litres, the Glen Elgin distillery enjoys world wide popularity, selling nearly nine million bottles a year. The building was financed by the North of Scotland banker James Carle and William Simpson of Glenfarclas fame. Having begun distillation at the turn of the 20th century, Glen Elgin closed down just months later.
In 1901, the distillery was acquired at auction by the Glen Elgin-Glenlivet Distillery Company for £4,000. Production began once more, though it only lasted from 1904 to 1905. It was not until Scottish Malt Distillers acquired Glen Elgin in 1930 that its fate improved. To this day, the bulk of whisky production is used for blending, particularly in the White Horse blends; Scottish Malt Distillers having licensed the distillery to White Horse shortly after purchase. In 1964, a further four stills were installed, bringing the total to six. Substantial renovations were carried out on the site and today the 1960s aesthetics remain.