Historically the name frequently changed from Glen Deveron to MacDuff & back. The distillery is located on the far Eastern edge of Speyside but is labelled as being a “Pure Highland Single Malt”. It lies about half a mile from the Moray Firth to the east of Banff on the east bank of the River Deveron (water from which is used for cooling). The water used in the stills is drawn from the Gelly Burn spring.
One of Scotland’s more recent distilleries, MacDuff was built in 1960 (completed 1962) by a consortium of local businessmen, George Crawford, Marty Dyke and Brodie Hepburn (also involved in the Deanston and Tullibardine distilleries). Production did not commence until 1963 and shortly after the number of stills was increased from two to three (in 1966) and then to four stills (in 1968).
The distillery was acquired by William Lawson, producer of the eponymous blend in 1972. Lawson’s became part of Martini-Rossi in 1980, which in turn became part of Bacardi-Martini in 1992. The distillery is now part of Bacardi's subsidiary Dewar's.
In 1990 a fifth still was added, making two wash stills and three spirit stills. To find an uneven number of stills is rare in Scotland where pairs of wash and spirit stills remain the norm. MacDuff is also noteworthy for being the first distillery to use a metal mash-tun. Glen Deveron/MacDuff malts are aged in ex-American whiskey casks.