Craig-ellackie, from Creag Eileachaidh, meaning ‘rocky hill’

Craig-ellackie, from Creag Eileachaidh, meaning ‘rocky hill’

Set in the popular town of Craigallachie on the confluence of the rivers Spey and Fiddich, fresh water and local barley have always been in plentiful supply for Craigellachie Distillery. Short, squat stills and old-fashioned copper worm-tub condensers result in Craigellachie being a distinctively rich, full bodied and spicy whisky that ages superbly.

The name ‘Craigellachie’ translates from the Gaelic as ‘rocky hill’, referring to a nearby cliff that dominates the west bank of the River Spey. While most distilleries have had to contend with fires, closures, excise men and bankruptcy, Craigellachie has quietly continued distilling excellent whisky since its establishment. There is no visitor centre, with most tourists visiting the town for its superb hotels and whisky bars.

The distillery was founded in 1891 by Alexander Edward, who led a group of blenders and merchants collectively known as the Craigellachie Distillery Co. After passing peaceably through several owners, the stillhouse was reconstructed by SMD in 1964-5, doubling production. In 1998 it came under the ownership of John Dewar and Sons, and today is a key component of that blend.

In 2014, a small distillery-bottled range was started, with odd-numbered expressions including a 13, 17 and 23 year old. In 2018, a 24 year old bottling was released for the duty free market.