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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


Distillery Address

Carron, Moray

Distillery Owner

Chivas Brothers

Distillery Status



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.


The distillery is inaugurated in the summer and is administered by Thomas Mackenzie’s company Dailuaine-Talisker Distilleries Limited.


The Pattison whisky crash forces the distillery to close.


Imperial is bought by Distillers Company Limited (DCL), Dewar’s, Johnnie Walker and W. P. Lowrie.


Production restarts.


The distillery becomes fully owned by DCL and closes again although the maltings remains active.


Imperial, now administered by Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD), reopens.


The number of stills is doubled from two to four and a Saladin box is installed for malting.


The distillery closes.


Allied Distillers buys Imperial from United Distillers and starts refurbishing.


Once again in operation.


Imperial is mothballed.


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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The whisky for this Signatory Un-Chillfiltered release was distilled in 1995 during the short period of time when the Imperial distillery was open in the 1990s. 759 bottles were produced.  More info
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
Distilled at Imperial in 1995, this was aged for 16 years before bottling by Duncan Taylor for their fabulous Octave range of whiskies finished in smaller "octave" casks for added pep and zing (also...  More info
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:  (1 Review)
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
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
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
An un-chillfiltered Imperial single malt, bottled by the lovely folks at Signatory. Taken from two hogshead casks filled in September 1995 and emptied in April 2014. 742 bottles of whisky from this...  More info
The closed Imperial Distillery in the Speyside region produced this single malt Scotch whisky, which was lovingly aged for 23 years (from December 1990 to March 2014, if you're wondering). It was...  More info
A fantastic chance to get your hands on some single malt whisky from a closed distillery - this is a Cask Strength Collection bottling of Imperial single malt, distilled in August 1995 and bottled in...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
A 23 year old single malt from the dearly departed distillery, Imperial. Distilled in October 1990, the whisky matured in a single sherry butt for 23 years before Hunter Laing came along and bottled...  More info
Though the Imperial distillery may have closed a while ago, we can still sample their whiskies through independent bottlings just like this one here! This is a Nectar of the Daily Drams bottling of 19...  More info
Did this independently bottled Imperial single malt Scotch whisky catch your eye? We don't blame you - it's a 19 year old single cask release from a closed distillery, bottled by Signatory for their...  More info
17 year old whisky from the now-closed Imperial distillery. Part of the prestigious Directors' Cut range. Distilled in October 1995 and bottled in February 2013, the outturn was just 99 bottles!  More info
From the Part Des Anges Closed Distilleries independent bottling range comes a 17 year old Imperial single malt scotch whisky bottled without chill filtration at natural cask strength. It was...  More info
Independently bottled Imperial single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 1995 and left to mature in refill Sherry casks. It was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail for the Distillery labels series, which shows...  More info
A Cask Strength Collection bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the closed Imperial distillery (the site of which is now home to the Dalmunach distillery). This was drawn from three hogshead...  More info
A Part Des Anges Closed Distilleries bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Imperial Distillery, which was mothballed in 1998 and has yet to reopen its doors. This whisky was distilled in 1995...  More info
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