Two brothers acquired a license to distill alcohol very close to the current site of Glenkinchie distillery in Pencaitland. That distillery was called Milton. The current distillery was built by the same brothers in 1837. For just over ten years the distillery operated as such and then in 1853 it was converted into a sawmill.
For 28 long years the sawmill operated until a group of local businessmen saw an opportunity to rebuild the distillery. In 1881 distilling was resumed and Glenkinchie was expanded in 1890. The operation was successful and survived the Pattison crisis and a general downturn. History was made when it joined St. Magdalene, Rosebank, Clydesdale and Grange distilleries to form the Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD) group.
United these distilleries survived the war shortages and difficulties. After further restructuring SMD joined Distillers Company Limited (DCL) to form the largest whisky producing group in Scotland. This group is now called Diageo.
Under Diageo's ownership the distillery enjoyed a long period of stability. In 1968 its maltings were converted into a museum. Thirty years later Diageo choose Glenkinchie instead of Rosebank as its representative Lowland single malt for the 'Classic Malts Collection'.
This distillery employs Scotland's largest wash still. This and the usage of a long fermentation period results in a light, fruity and delicate spirit.
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