Collection BenRiach - Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Benriach Distillery was founded in 1898 and while the rough-hewn walls of our warehouses may seem unassuming, they house a rare breed of creative expertise in whiskey distillation and eclectic cask aging. Our ingenious and dedicated team spends their days crafting our award-winning Speyside Single Malts and tirelessly pushing the boundaries of flavor possibility. We're proud that we haven't reached them yet.
In 1898 the Benriach Distillery was founded by John Duff.
The 1890s was a busy time for the whiskey industry as 33 new distilleries opened up across Scotland. John Duff, a serial entrepreneur in the whiskey industry, founded Benriach in 1898. After numerous whiskey adventures at home and abroad, John Duff decided that the best place to build his new distillery was on a small hill called 'Ben' the site of the old "Riach" farm on the north Speyside. Benriach was born.
1900 Benriach Distillery closes due to the Pattison accident
Benriach was only in operation for two years before the "Pattison Crash" in 1900 devastated the entire whiskey industry and caused many distilleries to close.
1900-1965 Floor Maltings secures the future of Benriach
While the distillery ceased making whiskey by 1965, Floor Maltings remained in constant production, supplying malted barley for Benriach's neighbour, Longmorn Distillery. A small train connected the two distilleries and ensured that Benriach's buildings remained intact and could be put back into operation.
1965 Benriach resumes production of its own malt whisky
In the 1960s, another boom began for the whiskey industry, which was due to the increasing demand for Scotch whiskey worldwide, especially in the USA. During this period many new distilleries were built and defunct distilleries fully reopened. Benriach's then owners, Glenlivet Distillers Ltd, worked hard to re-open Benriach whilst retaining the historic features and character of the distillery which opened in 1898. After a successful renovation, the Benriach stills were put back into operation in 1965.
1972 Benriach begins research into peated distillation
In the early 1970s, Benriach returned to distilling whiskey the old-fashioned way of the 19th century, using malted barley smoked with Highland peat. It was a bold, unconventional move in a Speyside whiskey region known for producing unpeated whiskeys. To this day we continue to capitalize on that creative spirit by crafting peated whiskeys during our Smoke Season and are fortunate to age some of the oldest Speyside whiskeys ever peated.
1985 Production in Benriach is ramped up
Like many distilleries, Benriach has changed hands over the course of its history. In 1985 the distillery was bought by the liquor company Seagrams. Immediately thereafter, production was increased from two to four stills, and these four stills are what keep Benriach running today.
1994 Benriach launches its very first single malt
Having previously been used in blends, Benriach was launched in 1994 for the first time as a 10 year old single malt. Although only bottled in small batches, it established Benriach's legacy as a flagship 10-year-old whisky. Even today, Master Blender Dr. Rachel Barrie is inspired by the rich, robust character of the original 1994 bottlings we are fortunate to have in our archives when creating our latest 10-year-old single malt.
1998 Benriach explores a third type of distillation
In the 1990s, Benriach began making small batches of triple distilled spirits; a tradition that we now continue once a year. The third distillation further enhances the fruity character of Benriach, resulting in a particularly smooth spirit for this small batch. Since then, the distillery has continued to explore the possibilities of Speyside single malt by creating three whiskey styles: classic, peated and triple distilled.
2004 Benriach embarks on a new journey under Billy Walker
After being under various ownerships in the early 2000s and being mothballed in 2002, Benriach was acquired in 2004 by an independent consortium led by Billy Walker. Luckily production was virtually uninterrupted and the new owners were able to launch a portfolio of both unpeated and peated whiskeys in August of the same year.
On September 20, 2004, the newly formed Benriach Distillery Company successfully bottled their first cask, adding to the portfolio of eclectic casks bequeathed by previous owners of the distillery. This eclectic selection of cask types and uninterrupted portfolio dating back to the 1960s laid the foundation for a decade of Benriach's rapid growth.
In 2012, Benriach celebrated its legacy with the reopening of the malt house
As the distillery continued to grow, it was decided to reopen Benriach's ground malting plant for a limited annual production - a time of year that we now refer to as the Malting Season. Century maintained the operation of the distillery, the floor maltings are still one of the main reasons for the existence of the distillery.
In 2015 Benriach was awarded "Global Whiskey Distiller of the year".
Having developed a new portfolio of classic, peated and triple-distilled whiskeys, aged in an eclectic range of cask types, Benriach have won the company Global Whiskey Distiller of the year at the Icons of Whiskey Awards - quite an honor when you think about it how small the distillery is on the global stage.
2016 Benriach is bought out by Brown Forman
After over a decade of growth under the independent Benriach Distillery Company, Benriach was acquired by Brown Forman, an American spirits company that has been responsibly producing premium brands of beverage alcohol for over 150 years.
2017 Benriach appoints Master Blender Dr. Rachel Barrie
With over 26 years of experience, Rachel Barrie joined Brown Forman in March 2017 as the Master Blender for GlenDronach, Benriach and Glenglassaugh Distilleries. Since joining the distillery team, Rachel has been awarded an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh, been named Keeper of the Quaich and inducted into the Whiskey Magazine Hall of Fame. Over the course of her career, Rachel has tasted over 150,000 casks of malt whiskey and can intuitively put together an expression. It is their artistry and expertise that we rely on to create Benriach's complex single malts.
2020 Benriach's creative past inspires the future with a distinctive new portfolio
Staying true to the distillery's creative heritage, Benriach launched a new portfolio and packaging design in September 2020. The new core range created by Master Blender Dr. Rachel Barrie expresses the best of the North Speyside distillery and offers a rich taste discovery for single malt explorers wherever they may be on their whiskey journey. Each expression has its unique flavor story conveyed through rich and varied cask aging, a fusion of distillation styles and a wide range of aging up to 30 years. The design is inspired by the original packaging of the very first single malt, launched by Benriach in 1994.