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North Port

The North Port distillery was founded in 1820 by the Townhead Distillery Company - a consortium including the brothers Guthrie: Alexander, David and John. The distillery was named Townhead until 1823 when it became the Brechin distillery. The town of Brechin, in which the distillery lies, was at one time surrounded by walls. The whisky distillery was near the Northern gate and was hence named North Port in 1839. The North Port distillery closed a century later and remained shut until 1948. During this time, the Polish army used the buildings for accommodation.

The 1980s were a trying time for the Scotch whisky industry; it was after the Second World War, and the subsequent abolition of rationing, that popularity for the dark spirit soared. The distilleries and producers were keen to meet demands and before too long the market became saturated. It was in 1983 that a host of distilleries gave up their proverbial ghost and the North Port distillery was among their number. The distillery had just two stills and shared its water source, Loch Lee, with the townsfolk.

Distillers Company Limited acquired North Port in 1922 and subsequently transferred it to Scottish Malt Distillers. It latterly became part of Diageo. Since the buildings were demolished, the site has played host to a shopping centre. Official releases are rare and there have been but a handful of independent bottlings.

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About North Port Whisky Distillery

Distillery Founded


Distillery Address

Brechin, Angus

Distillery Status


Distillery Owner



David Guthrie founds the distillery and names it Townhead Distillery.


David, John and Alexander, three of David Guthrie’s sons, help their father with operations. The name is changed to Brechin Distillery.


Guthrie, Martin & Co. is formed to operate the distillery.


The distillery is acquired by Distillers Company Limited (DCL) together with W. H. Holt Ltd.


The distillery closes.


The distillery is in production again.


The distillery changes name from Brechin to North Port.


North Port is mothballed.


The buildings are demolished.


North Port 1971 (23 years) is launched as a Rare Malt.


North Port 1979 (19 years) is launched as a Rare Malt.


North Port 1979 (20 years) is launched as a Rare Malt.


A 28 year old is launched as a Special Release from Diageo.

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

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Mature Your Own Kit
A 20 year old bottling, distilled in 1979 before bottling at cask strength for Diageo's Rare Malts range.  More info
This single malt was distilled in 1982 and bottled in 2003, a rare edition from the North Port distillery.  More info
A very rare single malt whisky from Cadenhead's Authentic Collection, this was distilled at the North Port distillery in 1977 and it was aged for 25 years in a bourbon hogshead before bottling at...  More info
Brechin 28 Year Old
(70cl, 53%)
Part of a release of just 2,040 bottles of Brechin (aka North Port). This was aged for 28 years before bottling at cask strength.  More info

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