Craigellachie Distillery was built in 1890. Designed by Charles Doig, it was built with all modern conveniences and with the express intention of making a lighter fruitier character of whisky than the other older distilleries producing whisky at that time – one of the earliest descriptors of Craigellachie mentions pineapple as a desireable aroma. Its owners were Sir Peter Mackie (of White Horse) and Alexander Edward who was only 25 when the distillery was built. He was already the lessee of Benrinnes Distillery and he also owned a local brickworks. He built new villas in the growing village and, in 1896, constructed a large hotel. He then went on to build Aultmore, Dallas Dhu and Benromach.
Craigellachie revels in its sulphurous nature. The first thing you smell as you enter the distillery is the notes of cabbage and beef stock. This is rising from the worm tubs which sit at the back of the distillery. It is the small amount of copper contained within them that helps to promote this character. They also add weight to the palate of the mature spirit. Long fermentation has however fixed fruitiness within the spirit and this tropical/floral note emerges in the mature spirit. It’s this character: full, yet aromatic which has made Craigellachie a prized malt for blending. As a result of this it had to wait until 2014 to be bottled as a single malt. The 17 Year Old Craigellachie has a strong punchy flavour of sweet malt, orchard fruit and spice with toasty notes as well as a distinctive lingering gunsmoke / sulphur character that is so typical of the distillery.