Established in 1817 by local landowner and chief of the Munro clan, Captain Hugh Munro, the distillery has evolved over generations to become one of the great unheralded workhorses of the Scotch distilling industry. The distillery is not normally open to the public, but it will open its doors for visitors on Saturday 12 August.
Although few of the original buildings form 1817 still exist after the distillery was progressively expanded and rebuilt over its two centuries, Teaninich, with its gleaming new stillhouse overlooking the Cromarty Firth is one of the Diageo’s most important distilleries, producing the highest-quality single malt for a range of world-leading blended Scotch whisky brands, such as Johnnie Walker.
Diane Farrell, Teaninich Distillery Manager, said: “It is a great honour to be the manager of Teaninich Distillery as we celebrate its 200th year.
“At Teaninich heritage and progress have always gone hand-in-hand. We are one of the most innovative and modern distilleries in Scotland while also being one of the oldest, and we are proud to continue that legacy of innovation today.
“Throughout those 200 years, since Captain Hugh Munro first had the idea of building a distillery here, everyone involved at the distillery has worked every day to make great single malt Scotch whisky. With the investment we have made at the distillery in recent years we look forward with confidence to the next two centuries of Scotch production.”
Teaninich was one of the first legitimate distilleries to be built in the north highlands at a time when illicit distilling was rife. By 1887 it was the first distillery north of Inverness to have electricity and a telephone. It continued its tradition of innovation in the 20th century when the distillery was rebuilt in the 1970s to expand production to meet growing demand. It was also the first distillery in the Scotch industry to pioneer the use of a mash-filter rather than the traditional mash-tun in its production regime, and is one of only two distilleries in Scotland to use this process.
In 2013 Diageo invested £26 million to build a new stillhouse – the equivalent of building a new medium-sized distillery - adding six brand-new copper wash stills and six spirit stills, to double production capacity to 10 million litres per year.
To celebrate the 200th milestone, visitors can take a rare peek behind the scenes of Teaninich on Saturday 12 August, when the doors will be opened for special anniversary tours between 11am - 3pm*.
Diageo’s Global Brand Ambassador Donald Colville will be on hand to regale visitors with stories of the distillery’s history while conducting special whisky-tasting sessions. Tours will cost £10 per person and all money raised from the proceeds will benefit Moray Firth Radio Cash for Kids, a local charity selected by the distillery team.
Donald said: “Teaninich Distillery personifies the progressive and curious nature of the Scotch whisky industry, having constantly evolved while staying true to its signature style of spirit. It is a distillery that illustrates perfectly why Scotch is the world’s favourite whisky.
“Its spirit has long been loved by blenders due to its light yet flavoursome style, but it is often unknown as a single malt except for the occasional sighting of the 10 year old as part of the Flora and Fauna range.
“To celebrate the anniversary we are bottling a commemorative Teaninich as part of our Special Releases range - an exquisite 17 year old that stunningly tells the story of a visit to the distillery by arguably the first ever whisky writer Alfred Barnard. Matured in both Refill American Oak hogsheads and Refill American Oak barrels, it allows the true flavours of Teaninich to shine through.”
*Free tours will be held at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Special tasting tours will be at 12pm and 2pm and tickets cost £10. For more information or to book a tour please contact Glen Ord Distillery on 01463 872 004.