Coleburn Distillery is one of the many Speyside distilleries that didn’t manage to survive. It was mothballed in 1985 and since the equipment was dismantled and the buildings sold there is less chance that we will ever see a Coleburn Distillery revival here near Elgin – nevertheless Diageo is still the owner of the brand Coleburn.

Information about the Distillery
12 Bottles
Scotland, Speyside
-3.271894 57.581415
John Robertson & Son Ltd.
Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

The style of Coleburn Whisky is a bit sweet and fruity, but it had only a few chances to prove its qualification as Single Malt. Almost all of the Whisky that Coleburn Distillery had produced was used in blends, especially in the Johnny Walkers when Diageo became the owner. In former times Coleburn Whisky went into the Yellow Label from James Robertson & Sons and the Andrew Usher from J. & G. Stewart.
Some independent distillers presented Single Malt releases as for example Signatory, Cadenhead’s or Gordon & MacPhail. But it was only in 2000 that Diageo bottled Coleburn Single Malt Whisky as an official release Rare Malt Edition – the first and only official bottling of a Coleburn owner ever. To that time Coleburn had already been closed!
One of the latest releases is the Coleburn Rare Old 1972/2013 from Gordon & MacPhail. It was limited to 214 bottles and presents aromas of grapefruit, raspberries, pepper, malt and oak.

View of the Coleburn Distillery.

The History

The blender Robertson & Sons of Dundee founded Coleburn Distillery in 1897. As this area south of Elgin was known as a center of charcoal production the distillery’s name was sourced out of this charcoal. The famous architect Charles Doig, who was engaged in some distilleries’ construction, was hired. In 1899 the building was completed and production started.
In 1913 Coleburn Distillery was closed and in 1916 it was sold to the Clynelish Distillery Company that was formed by John Walker, John Risk and the Distillers Company Ltd.
They re-started the production of Coleburn. When in 1930 DCL (later Diageo) bought the Clynelish Distillery Company they became the new owners of Coleburn and further on the distillery was led by DCL’s subsidiary Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD). In the 1960s the distillery was totally renovated and it produced constantly until 1985 when it was mothballed. Some hoped for a new chance for Coleburn but in 1992 the distillery licence was returned.
The distilling equipment was dismantled and plans were developed from United Distillers in the middle of the 1990s to transform the distillery building into apartments. But those plans never have been relized and in 2004 the buildings were sold to Winchester Brothers. The company plans to create a “Whisky Hotel” here and planning permission has been secured for a luxury hotel, spa, restaurant and
leisure amenities. But plans have stalled and construction hasn’t started yet.
Since 2014 the dunnage warehouses are in use again after a £100.000 investigation of Whisky broker Aceo and his brand Murray McDavid. 

A warehouse of the Coleburn Distillery.

Visitor Center

As there is no distillery any longer there’s also no visitor center.

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