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Ardmore Distillery
Picture: Ardmore
Location: Kennethmont, Aberdeenshire
Roads: Off B9002 at Knockandy Hill
Hours: Please telephone for information about visits
Phone: 01464 831213

Text from The Whisky Trails, Copyright © Gordon Brown 1993:

The Leith family were lairds of this settled, beguiling district of pasture and crop-fields. Their elegant seat at Leith Hall displays a wealth of material and artefacts from successive generations of the family and the grounds still have their unique stables and an 18th-century ‘fridge’, an ice-house.

Close by, since the turn of the century, Kennethmont has had its very own distillery. Ardmore went up in 1899 just as the world of whisky was falling down amidst the collapse of the Pattison company. However, it was built by Teacher’s to guarantee supplies of malt whisky for their own blending requirements; their Highland Cream brand had gone on the market in 1884 and was doing well. The distillery, one of the largest in Scotland, was acquired by Allied Breweries in 1976, who have since evolved into Allied Distillers Ltd.

Malting with a Saladin Box system was continued until 1976, but when capacity was doubled (for the second time since 1955), the distillery went over to heavily peated malt from central suppliers. There are now four pairs of stills, all of which are coal-fired (now very unusual) and the inevitable soot that lands everywhere has given the still house the appearance of an old-time distillery although the building is modern.

The Whisky
Text from The Whisky Trails, Copyright © Gordon Brown 1993:

Ardmore is full, round and a little unctuous due to its sweetness but, thanks to its lightly peated malt specification, is not notably smoky. It is complex, nonetheless, with light toffee and tar from the sherry and a sappy, dry astringency at the edges. Ardmore makes a splendid blending malt and no official regular self whisky is bottled, although an occasional 15-year-old is released. Independents sometimes have 12- to 20-year-olds and a 1977 vintage has recently been seen on lists. Ardmore, with Glendronach, is used in the blending of Teacher’s Highland Cream.

Source of water
Springs from Knockany Hill
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