Located on the Cawdor Estate, the distillery was built by Captain William Fraser who – upon returning from a successful period in India – recognised that getting into the whisky industry was an industrious thing for a young man to do.
Unfortunately, so did a number of other illegal smugglers – so much so, that Fraser began shipping most of his spirit to England, an unusual thing to do at that time, as a way to compete since no one locally would buy his product. It proved to be his winning decision: in 1833, having established his reputation south of the border, Fraser received his first order from King William IV. Later that year, having proven his worth, the distillery was given the Royal Warrant, something it has held ever since.
Today, the distillery is owned by John Dewar & Sons Ltd and produces nearly 4 million litres of spirit per annum. For much of its life in the 20th century, it was predominantly used for blends. In 2015 John Dewar’s parent company, Bacardi, decided to reinvigorate interest in the distillery and released a series of single malts, which are due to be updated again imminently.