Millburn

A gentleman whose name is only recorded as ‘Mr Welsh’ founded Millburn in 1807. Following the founding of the distillery, it operated (illegally) under the name of ‘Inverness Distillery’ for the first few years of its existence.

Information about the Distillery
14 Bottles
Scotland, Highlands
-4.205046 57.482744
Demolished
Diageo
1807
1985
Average tasting notes Tasting Notes
Calculated from 1 Tasting Notes
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Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

Millburn distillery released only a very limited number of Single Malt Whisky bottlings during its operational lifetime. A few bottlings have appeared since the site’s closure in 1985, but it is still and will be an extremely rare dram. There have been three semi-official bottlings of Millburn available through the Rare Malts series released by United Distillers/Diageo. These three bottlings are an 18 year old, a 25 year old, and a 35 year old. In addition to these semi-official releases, there have been a small number of independent bottlings of Millburn. These have included a 30 year old, released by Gordon & MacPhail, and an 18 year old released by Cooper’s Choice. Millburn was also a major contributor to the Haig Blends.

The Production

The water used in the production of Millburn was drawn from Loch Duntelchaig. The production capacity of the distillery is unknown, but as the distillery operated with only one wash still and one spirit still, we can assume that the production capacity was around one million liters a year. There is one recorded production capacity figure, which dates from the summer of 1885, before a number of different expansions. Alfred Barnard, the famous Whisky traveler and author, visited the distillery and put the production capacity of the site at 273,000 liters.

The Millburn distillery
The Millburn distillery

The Pot Stills

The exact size and capacity of the pot stills is unknown, but the pot stills had a traditional ‘Speyside’ shape, with wide spherical lids and tall conical necks.

The Maltings

The malt used in production was peated, and the barley was selected from a range of local farms in the Inverness area, which are famed for the high quality of their grain.

The Warehouse

The distillery had a small warehouse complex, which included a dunnage warehouse, in which Millburn Single Malt was aged. The distillery used a combination of American white oak and Sherry casks in which to age the spirit.

The History

A gentleman whose name is only recorded as ‘Mr Welsh’ founded Millburn in 1807. Following the founding of the distillery, it operated (illegally) under the name of ‘Inverness Distillery’ for the first few years of its existence. In 1825, following the passing of the Exercise Act, the distillery was taken over by Alexander Macdonald and James Rose. However, the business didn’t take off well, and in 1829, Macdonald and Rose had to sell off the distillery. The distillery lay unused until 1853, at which point the corn dealer David Rose bought the site. In 1876, the site was reconstructed. In 1881, Rose’s son, George, took over the production at the distillery. George Rose ran the distillery until 1892, at which Andrew Haig & Company acquired the site. In 1904, the distillery’s name was officially changed to ‘Millburn’, and the Millburn Distillery Company was formed. 

In 1921, Booth’s Distillers Limited of London acquired Millburn. The new owners restored and rebuilt the distillery after a fire tore through the site in 1922. In 1935, Millburn became part of Distiller’s Company Limited, through a corporate merger between Booth’s, William Sanderson and DCL. In 1943, the distillery was transferred to the control of Scottish Malt Distillers.

The harsh economic climate of Britain in the big recession of the 1980s caused the distillery to close in 1985. In 1988, many of the original buildings at the site were demolished in order to make way for a property re-development.

Visitor’s Centre

Most of the original buildings at Millburn were demolished in 1988. The closest thing the site has to a visitor’s centre is a restaurant, ‘The Auld Distillery’, which is located in one of the remaining buildings.

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