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Benrinnes is named after, and is perched high on, the northern flank of Ben Rinnes (Gaelic ‘Beinn Ruaidhneis’) mountain, an 840m peak which overshadows Speyside.
Benrinnes is a prized blender’s malt featuring the likes of Johnnie Walker and is one of the handful of whiskies rated as First Class. It was first released at a single malt in 1991 as a 15 year old as part of the Flora and Fauna series. A 21 year old 1974 was released as a Rare Malt in 1997.
The distillery was originally established in 1826 by Peter MacKenzie and run as part of his Whitehouse Farm. The buildings were all but washed away by floods in 1829 and where not rebuilt until 1835 when the current distillery located three quarters of a mile away from the original site was founded in 1835 by William Smith.
In 1864 David Edward, the man who also founded Craigellachie, Dallas Dhu and Aultmore took over and ran the distillery until selling it to John Dewar & Sons in 1922. Just three years later Benrinnes became part of Distiller Company Ltd (now a part of Diageo). The distillery was completely refurbished in 1955 and in 1964 the floor maltings were replaced by Saladin maltings, which were in use until 1984.