History of Glenkinchie Distillery

From the rich agricultural countryside of East Lothian comes Glenkinchie, the Classic Malt of the Lowlands. As the distillery is so close to the capital city, it is also known as The Edinburgh Malt.


By 1837 local farmers, John and George Rate had become the first recorded licence holders of Glenkinchie Distillery


John & George Rate ceased production at Glenkinchie in 1853


The premises were opened again in 1890 when a consortium of brewers, blenders and wine merchants from Edinburgh and Leith reformed the Glenkinchie Distillery Co Ltd


In 1914, the company was one of five lowland malt whisky distilleries to form Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd


Government restrictions to conserve barley for food supplies during the First World War meant that Glenkinchie, along with all other malt whisky distilleries, ceased production from 1917-19


In the 1950s the distillery manager also farmed the adjoining land and the Aberdeen Angus cattle flourished on the nutrituous by products of malting and mashing.


The malting floors at Glenkinchie closed in 1968


Glenkinchie distillery plays host to approx 25000 visitors per year, from all over the world. We employ 23 permanent members of staff across the distillery and visitor centre, during the peak season we also have a number of seasonal guides. Our highly skilled operators work on a 24/7 shift basis to produce approximately 3 million litres of alcohol per annum.

To find out more, please visit our distillery.

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