BenRiach’s inception was one of poor timing for founder Duff – just a year after opening, the famous Pattison Crash forced it and many other Scottish distilleries to close after it was discovered that the Pattison Brothers had been operating an early-days Ponzi scheme, over inflating their capacity and leaving huge irreparable holes in their books which distillery companies could not recoup.
BenRiach was one of the newest distilleries on the scene to be impacted, and it remained shut – only producing malted barley for its next door neighbour Longmorn – all the way until 1965 when new owner The Glenlivet Distillers Limited purchased it. Unusually, it had not been torn down due to its malting operations, so was still in working form for its new owners.
More closures eventually followed and it wasn’t until 2004 when Billy Walker – former director of Burn Stewart – purchased it alongside a consortium of investors that BenRiach really got the shot it deserved. A huge amount of investment pushed it to be well-known and well-loved amongst whisky lovers over the following decades.
It is now owned by Brown Forman, who saw its huge potential and purchased it – alongside Glenglassaugh and Glendronach – from Walker and Co for nearly £300 million in 2016. The current capacity of 2.8 million litres per annum supports a number of distillery own bottling from the company.