Macduff is one of the newer distilleries in Speyside, having been founded in 1958. Morty Dyke, George Crawford, James Stirret, and Brodie Hepburn founded the distillery. Together, they formed Macduff Distilleries Ltd. Construction of the distillery was completed in 1960, and the first cask filling occurred in June the same year.
The Speyside distillery of Macduff has a range of official bottlings for the prospective buyer to choose from. The official expressions released by the site are a 16 year old, 20 year old, and 30 year old. All of these bottlings are actually released under the name of Glen Deveron. The distillery has changed its name a number of times throughout its history, and now operates under the name of Glen Deveron. In addition to these official releases, Macduff has also been bottled by a number of independent bottlers. Duncan Taylor has released a 45 year old bottle, which retailed at a phenomenal $2300. Gordon & MacPhail have released a 13 year old bottling, and Hunter Laing have a 21 year old bottling, which lay in a slightly more affordable price range. Additionally, Cadenhead and Signatory Vintage have also released independent bottlings. Independent bottlings of the spirit are often released under the name of ‘Macduff’, as opposed to ‘Glen Deveron’ used and legally protected by the distillery. Only about 10% of the malt whisky produced at the site is bottled as single malt whisky. This is due to the fact that the majority of the spirit distilled at the site is used as a major component in the Dewar’s, as well as the William Lawson blends.
The distillery has a production capacity of 2.4 million liters, and draws it water form local sources, including the Gelly burn, which lays adjacent to the distillery’s site.
The distillery has two wash stills and three spirit stills, which is a highly unusual set-up in Scotland. The only other distillery to have such a production structure is Talisker on the Isle of Skye. The wash stills each have a capacity of 20’000 liters, while the spirit stills have a capacity of 12’500 liters. All of the stills have a traditional Speyside shape, with wide spherical lids and tall, conical necks. A not often seen specialty of the stills are the heavily bent lyne arms.
Macduff distillery sources its malt from an industrial source in Speyside. The Distillery uses a combination of peated and unpeated malt, depending on the purpose of the spirit that the site is distilling. The malt that is used in the production of the spirit intended to be sold as single malt is often slightly peated, which gives the single malt a gentle, smoky taste. The distillery also uses entirely unpeated malt, which is used both in the production of raw whisky intended to be sold as single malt, and intended for blending.
Macduff has an impressive on-site warehouse facility, which houses the raw whisky which is intended to be sold as single malt, as well as the whisky to be used in blending. The site has a combination of both dunnage and racked warehouses. The distillery uses a combination of Sherry and Oak casks in which the whisky is aged.
Macduff is one of the newer distilleries in Speyside, having been founded in 1958. Morty Dyke, George Crawford, James Stirret, and Brodie Hepburn founded the distillery. Together, they formed Macduff Distilleries Ltd. Construction of the distillery was completed in 1960, and the first cask filling occurred in June the same year. In 1965, the number of stills at the distillery was increased from two to three. In 1967, another still was added, bringing the total at the distillery to four. In 1972, William Lawson acquired the distillery.
Lawson managed the distillery until 1980, at which point the company was bought by Martini Rossi. Under Rossi’s direction, the distillery continued to expand, adding another still in 1990. In 1992, Rossi were bought by Bacardi, and the management of Macduff was transferred to John Dewar & Sons, a subsidiary of Bacardi. Dewar & Sons still manage the distillery today, and Macduff is a major component in their blends.
Sadly, the distillery is closed to the public, and there is no visitor’s centre.