The Benriach distillery sits in the Speyside area of Scotland. It is currently owned by Brown-Forman Corporation after being purchased on 1 June 2016 as a subsidiary from the BenRiach Distillery Company Limited, formed by two South African funding partners, Geoff Bell and Wayne Keiswetter, and Scotch whisky expert Billy Walker. In 2008, the company expanded their portfolio with the acquisition of the Glendronach distillery, as well as the Glenglassaugh distillery in March 2013
The Benriach Distillery was established by John Duff in 1898, close to the Longmorn Distillery which was also owned by Duff.The distilleries were joined by a private railway, with a private steam locomotive, the Puggy, to transport coal, barley, peat and barrels between the distilleries. Soon after the railway was established in 1900 the distillery stopped production in the wake of the bankruptcy of Pattison's whisky, a major Scotch Whisky purchaser. Only Benriachs maltings remained in active use, producing malt for Longmorn. It didn't produce spirit again until 1965 when it was reopened by Glenlivet Distillers Ltd. In 1978 the distillery changed hands, this time to Seagrams. Seagrams became part of Pernod Ricard in 2001 and the Benriach distillery began operating for just three months of every year. In 2004 the distillery was acquired by an independent consortium, the Benriach Distillery Company Limited.
A total of 120 people are employed across the company’s four sites, and single malts are exported to more than 40 countries, headed by Taiwan, with other Asian markets, North America and Europe also performing well.
It was with delight, while sworn to secrecy, that I witnessed Benriach gaining its independence, when a team led by the experienced and infectiously enthusiastic Billy Walker acquired the Distillery. This independence will allow Benriach to unlock its secrets and bring its fine and surprising malts, officially to the market in their natural state for the first time. There cannot be a single true lover of whisky who will not rejoice because of it.