The Scotch Whisky Distillery Timeline

by Oliver Klimek on September 1, 2013

When compiling the data for the Periodic Table of Scotch Whisky, founding and (if applicable) closing dates of the distilleries were included. Ordering the list by these dates gives you an interesting by-product, a timeline of distillery openings and closures.

To make it even more interesting, the 71 distilleries listed on Ulf Buxrud’s Lost Distilleries page are included here as well, as is the legendary Malt Mill – all these are presented in different colours. Of course there are still a lot more obscure distilleries, especially on Islay. But data is getting very thin here, so the list will stick to those. All in all it comprises over 200 distilleries.

Please note that some of the early dates are disputed or depend on what you consider the founding of a distillery: the first distillation or the grant of the licence. Also the closing dates for some of the ‘lost’ distilleries are unclear.

You can easily notice the periods of boom and recession that lead to increased opening or closing of whisky distilleries, as well as times of relative quietness. And as devastating the closing spree of the early 1980s may have been, this is nothing compared to the first half of the 20th century. Those were very tough times for the Scotch whisky industry, not only because of US prohibition. Economic troubles started shortly after the blend boom of the late 19th century, and they lasted until well after the Second World War.

But as we all can see, Scotch whisky has survied and is now stronger than ever, with all the consequences currently seen in the business.

1746 Founded Glenochil          
             
1765 Founded Langholm          
1766              
1767              
1768              
1769              
1770 Founded Dundashill Yoker        
1771              
1772 Founded Littlemill          
1773              
1774              
1775 Founded Glenturret          
1776              
1777              
1778              
1779 Founded Bowmore          
1780              
1781              
1782              
1783              
1784              
1785              
1786 Founded Strathisla Grange        
1787              
1788              
1789              
1790 Founded Balblair          
1791              
1792              
1793 Founded Saucel          
1794 Founded Oban          
1795 Founded St. Magdalene Glenfoyle Glenmavis Greenock    
1796 Founded Hazelburn Kirkliston        
1797 Founded Glen Garioch          
1798 Founded Blair Athol Highland Park Rosebank Tobermory    
1799 Founded Carsebrdge          
1800              
1801              
1802              
1803              
1804              
1805              
1806 Founded Cambus          
1807 Founded Millburn          
1808              
1809              
1810 Founded Glenburgie Jura Laphroaig Ballechin    
1811              
1812 Founded Brackla Auchnagie        
1813 Founded Bo’ness          
1814              
1815 Founded Ardbeg Campbeltown Provanmill      
1816 Founded Lagavulin          
1817 Founded Bladnoch Teaninich Pollo Stromness    
1818              
1819 Founded Brora          
1820 Founded North Port          
1821 Founded Linkwood Strathdee        
1822              
1823 Founded Auchentoshan Mortlach        
1824 Founded Balmenach Banff Cardhu Fettercairn Glenlivet Macallan
    Milltonduff Benachie Dalaruan Lochhead Longrow Meadowburn
1825 Founded Ben Nevis Edradour Glencadam Glenury Port Ellen Adelphi
    Burnside Clydesdale Grandtully Rieclachan Tambovie  
1826 Founded Aberlour Benrinnes Glendronach Pulteney    
1827              
1828 Founded Springbank Bankier        
1829 Founded Auchtermuchty Lochindaal        
1830 Founded Talisker Albyn Annandale Springside    
1831 Founded Glenugie Glendarroch        
1832 Founded Glen Scotia Dalintober Kintyre      
1833 Founded Glengoyne Gleniffer        
1834 Founded Glenside Loch Katrine        
1835 Founded Lochruan          
1836 Founded Glenfarclas          
1837 Founded Glenkinchie Devanha        
1838 Founded Glen Ord          
1839 Founded Dalmore Glentarras        
1840 Founded Glen Grant          
1841              
1842              
1843 Founded Glenmorangie          
1844 Founded Glen Albyn Argyll        
1845 Founded Lochnagar Auchtertool Glenaden      
1846 Founded Caol Ila          
1847              
1848              
1849 Founded Edinburgh          
1850              
1851 Founded Isla          
1852 Founded Dailuaine          
1853              
1854              
1855 Founded Caledonian Bon Accord        
1856              
1857              
1858              
1859              
1860              
1861              
1862              
1863              
1864              
1865              
1866              
1867              
1868 Founded Benmore          
1869 Founded Cragganmore          
1870 Founded Inchgower          
1871              
1872              
1873 Founded Glengyle          
1874              
1875 Founded Glenglassaugh          
1876 Founded Glenlossie          
1877 Founded Glen Nevis          
1878 Founded Glen Spey Glenrothes Nevis      
1879 Founded Ardlussa Ben Wyvis I        
1880              
1881 Founded Bruichladdich Bunnahabhain Dean      
1882 Closed Meadowburn          
1883 Founded Kinloch          
1884              
1885 Founded Scapa          
1886 Founded Glenfiddich Gerston        
1887              
1888              
1889              
1890              
1891 Founded Craigellachie Strathmill        
1892 Founded Balvenie Glen Mhor        
1893 Founded Knockdhu          
1894 Founded Convalmore Longmorn Parkmore      
  Closed Gleniffer          
1895 Founded Speyside I          
1896 Founded Aberfeldy Aultmore Dufftown Tamdhu Ardgovan Auchinblae
    Drumcaldie Glenskiach Towiemore      
  Closed Longrow          
1897 Founded Benriach Caperdonich Coleburn Dalwhinnie Glen Moray Glendullan
    Glenesk Glentauchers Imperial Speyburn Tomatin Gartloch
    Glencoull          
1898 Founded Ardmore Benromach Dallas Dhu Glen Elgin Glenlochy Knockando
    Glencawdor          
1899              
~1900 Closed Glenochil          
1900 Founded Stronarchie          
1901              
1902 Closed Dundashill          
1903 Closed Drumcaldie Pollo        
1904              
1905 Closed Glentarras          
1906              
1907 Closed Adelphi          
  Founded Malt Mill          
1908 Closed Nevis          
1909              
1910 Closed Glenmavis Grandtully        
1911 Closed Auchnagie Speyside I        
1912              
1913 Closed Benachie Bon Accord        
1914 Closed Gerston Tambovie        
1915 Closed Devanha Glenaden Greenock Saucel    
1916              
1917 Closed Langholm          
1918              
1919 Closed Clydesdale          
1920 Closed Albyn Gartloch Kintyre Kirkliston Loch Katrine  
1921              
1922 Closed Dalaruan Dean Provanmill      
1923 Closed Argyll Glenfoyle Glen Nevis      
1924 Closed Ardlussa Burnside Campbeltown      
1925 Closed Bo’ness Dalintober Edinburgh Glengyle Grange Hazelburn
    Lochruan          
1926 Closed Auchtermuchty Ben Wyvis I Glenside Glenskiach Isla Kinloch
    Springside          
1927 Closed Auchtertool Ballechin Benmore Glencawdor Glencoull Yoker
1928 Closed Bankier Lochhead Stromness Stronarchie    
1929 Closed Auchinblae Lochindaal        
1930 Closed Annandale Towiemore        
1931 Closed Parkmore          
1932              
1933              
1934 Closed Rieclachan          
1935              
1936              
1937 Closed Glendarroch          
1938 Founded Inverleven Dumbarton        
1939              
1940              
1941              
1942 Closed Strathdee          
1943              
1944              
1945              
1946              
1947              
1948              
1949 Founded Tullibardine          
1950              
1951              
1952 Closed Ardgovan          
1953              
1954              
1955              
1956              
1957 Founded Glen Keith Kinclaith Lochside Alloa    
1958 Founded Tormore          
1959              
1960              
1961              
1962 Founded Macduff          
  Closed Malt Mill          
1963              
1964 Founded Tomintoul Garnheath        
1965 Founded

Ben Wyvis

Deanston Loch Lomond      
1966 Founded Ladyburn Tamnavulin        
1967 Founded Clynelish Glenallachie        
1968              
1969              
1970              
1971 Founded Mannochmore          
1972              
1973 Founded Braeval          
1974 Founded Auchroisk Glen Flagler Pittivaich      
1975 Founded Allt-a-Bhainne          
  Closed Kinclaith Ladyburn        
1976 Founded Speyside          
  Closed Ben Wyvis          
1977              
1978              
1979              
1980 Closed Alloa          
1981              
1982 Closed North Port          
1983 Closed Banff Brora Dallas Dhu Glen Albyn Glen Mhor Glenlochy
    Glenugie Glenury Port Ellen St. Magdalene Carsebridge  
1984              
1985 Closed Coleburn Convalmore Glen Flagler Glenesk Millburn  
1986 Closed Garnheath          
1987              
1988 Closed Caledonian          
1989              
1990 Founded Kininvie          
1991 Closed Inverleven          
1992 Closed Lochside          
1993 Founded Arran          
  Closed Pittivaich Rosebank Cambus      
1994              
1995              
1996 Closed Littlemill          
1997              
1998 Closed Imperial          
1999              
2000              
2001              
2002 Closed Caperdonich Dumbarton        
2003              
2004 Founded Glengyle          
2005 Founded Daftmill Kilchoman        
2006              
2007 Founded Ailsa Bay          
2008 Founded Abhainn Dearg          
2009 Founded Roseisle          
2010              
2011 Founded Starlaw          
2012              
2013 Founded Wolfburn          

 

 

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Gal Granov September 1, 2013 at 1:43 pm

nice!

Reply

two-bit cowboy September 1, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Great visual aid, Oliver. Thanks.

Reply

Florin September 1, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Looking at the boom-and-bust cycles, it seems that the next period of distilleries closing will be around 2025-2030.

Reply

Bozkurt "bozzy" Karasu September 1, 2013 at 9:49 pm

That’s pretty cool Oliver…

Reply

T Kremer September 2, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Great work!

Reply

Kallaskander September 3, 2013 at 9:29 am

Hi there,

great piece of work Oliver and it surely did take some time.

I wonder about the gap between 1856 to 1867…. was the market saturated was there a shortage of cash ? Or barley?

I never realised that the wave of distillery closures in the early 20th century was starting long before the war and was in full swing even before the great depression from 1928 on.

If I counted right 77 distilleries closed between 1900 and 1938 – far more than during the crisis which hightened in 1983 with a bang. Of course there was the Pattison crash of 1898 and prohibition in the US big style from 1919 on. Between 1975 and 1998 only 30 distillies closed and I am not sure Littlemill and Imperial should be taken into this account. If you do they Caperdonich and Dumbarton were the last victims of the 1983 crisis.

Nevertheless one could speculate that despite all those closures whisky producing cpacatiy today is at a level never seen before in Sottish whisky making history.
What will this mean for the next crisis at around 2025-2030 if Florin is right?

Greetings
kallaskander

Reply

Oliver Klimek September 3, 2013 at 9:39 am

The capacity of most distilleries was quite small by today’s standards, so it is not surprising to see so many of them. The concentration process started after WW1 with the rise of DCL which was to become Diageo. We see the same in beer. In in virtually every German town and even villages there used to be several breweries, once upon a time. The concentration process here is in full swing and not yet completed.

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Björn Scholz September 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Yes I know – I’m a pain in the a.. – but just a few things.
Don’t take this as complaint to your work, I’m just a bit a–l here..

How long can a distillery be inactive/dismantled and then totally rebuilt before it becomes silly to keep the old starting year?
25 or 50 years or more?

Glenturret (3) started 1959!!
http://www.maltmadness.com/whisky/glenturret.html

Isle of Jura (2) 1963!! Totally new buildings!!
Isle of Jura (1) 1810-1901. Started as Caol’ Nan Eilan, then Small Isles, Craighouse and Jura.
http://www.maltmadness.com/whisky/jura.html

Rosebank was built 1840.
The trail’s are murky, but it seems that some people thinks that Camelon (1798-1861) was the original Rosebank. When the “new Rosebank” was built in 1840 they cut the costs by using the maltings at Cameleon. In 1861 they bought Cameleon. Four years later they replaced the distillery buildings of Camelon with new maltings. The malting were used by Rosebank until 1968(?).
http://www.maltmadness.com/whisky/rosebank.html

Glenlivet started 1858!! As Minmore.
It was built to replace their Upper Drumin (1817-1858) and Delnabo aka Cairngorm (1849-1858) distilleries.
http://www.maltmadness.com/whisky/glenlivet.html

Reply

Björn Scholz September 4, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Benrinnes was built 1835. The old Lynne of Ruthrie lay – before the flood destroyed it 1829 – several kilometres away.
http://www.maltmadness.com/whisky/benrinnes.html

Glenburgie 1829, before that no real evidence.

Kinloch started 1823 not 1883.

Glenochil probably produced grain whisky until c1929.

Ardgovan or Ardgowan stopped 1903, 1907 or 1926…
Burned for five days 1903. Continued operation until liquidated 1907. Perhaps only by disposing spirit stock. Went back in production c1914 and made yeast and grain(?) spirit until closure in 1926. Reopened 1929 an made industrial alcohol and carbon dioxide products. Abandoned 1952. (Brian Townsend)

Alloa didn’t start 1957, North of Scotland aka Strathmore did.
I think Keith Wood explains it well……
http://www.whisky-emporium.com/UK/ActualTastingNotes/NorthOfScotland.htm#Alloa40y
Grange (2) 1795-1851 was also known as Alloa. Alloa, Clackmannanshire, NS878928

Ben Nevis started 1825 not 1965.

Glen Flagler started 1965 not 1975.
http://www.maltmadness.com/whisky/glen-flagler.html

Speyside (2) didn’t start 1976 it distilled for the first time 1990.
http://www.maltmadness.com/whisky/speyside-distillery.html

Sorry about the length of the rantings!

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