All that's left of Banff Distillery are some distillery cottages.
No pictures of the Distillery, but a few of Banff.
Banff distillery's history is notable for the number of fires it suffered. First established at Mill of Boyndie in 1824 by Major James McKilligan, it was moved to its final site at Inverboyndie in 1863 by new owner James Simpson Jr to take advantage of a better water source and proximity to the then newly built Great North of Scotland Railway. Historical maps showing the site of Banff Distillery, and Mill of Boyndie.
1877 saw all but the malting floors and warehouses destroyed by fire - as this was at the beginning of a whisky boom, the distillery was rebuilt within six months, and Simpson invested in his own fire engine for the premises.
By this time the distillery had six stills, described by Alfred Barnard on his visit in 1886 as "three old Pot Stills, one Wash Still and two Low-wines Stills". He reported an output of 200,000 gallons (over 900,000 litres). He stated that production was "the same as already described in the Highlands". This would seem to rule out triple distillation, something Barnard is quick to comment on elsewhere eg Miltonduff, though a number of sources including Misako Udo suggest that it did triple-distill until 1924.
Simpson and then James Simpson & Sons owned the distillery until 1921 when "they sold a big slice of the equity to...Mile End Distillery Company, a subsidiary of brewers Taylor Walker" - Brian Townsend. (More on Mile End Distilleries - see right). Simpsons went into liquidation in 1932 and DCL bought the distillery - and closed it down. But it was still used for warehousing...
In 1941 a German bomb hit warehouse 12 and the resulting explosion was further fuelled by the whisky - casks were flung around the surrounding area, got into the water supply and cattle were reportedly drunk for several days!
After WWII the distillery was brought back into production, in good time for the next fire in 1959 when a spark ignited during routine maintenance leading to an explosion and considerable damage ensued. Again the distillery was rebuilt.
The 1980's whisky glut however, finally saw the closure of Banff and 10 other distilleries - Banff finally closing in 1983. DCL starting demolishing buildings in 1985, and the last remaining warehouse was destroyed - by yet another fire, of course, in 1991.
Malt Madness Wikipedia WhiskyMerchants scotchwhisky.com SMWS
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Distilleries Speyside Distilleries Deveron
Nearest station: Keith (KEH) (20 miles), Huntly (HNT) (22)
Live Train Times: KEH, HNT.
The site of the Banff Distillery is on Cycle Route 1 near where it crosses the Burn of Boyndie.
Diageo released a single bottling of Banff in their Rare Malts range - a 21yo in 2004.
Independent bottlings of Banff were relatively common, but given the length of time since closure, they are becoming rarer and more expensive.
RMW TWE MoM
Nearest Bike shops - Fraserburgh, Elgin, Inverurie or Peterhead
C & A West 64 Charlotte Street, Fraserburgh 01346 515767
Pedal Power 29a High Street, Inverurie 01467 624323
Halfords Oldmeldrum Road, Inverurie 01467 627790
Duncans Cycles 5 Errol Street, Peterhead 01779 475133
Halfords Balmoral Retail Park, Windmill Rd, Peterhead 01799 479800
Bikes and Bowls 7 High Street, Elgin 01343 549656
Halfords Lossie Wynd N, Elgin 01343 552030
Photos on this page were taken by me. Click on photo to enlarge. Full size versions of all my photos of Banff are available on Flickr.