The Granty Burn
While hunting for the perfect spot for his distillery, Hopkins discovered the Granty Burn - an untouched stream hidden in a secluded Speyside valley. He knew that the exceptionally pure water of this burn would produce a remarkable whisky with a naturally refreshing character. Hopkins trusted his intuition and built the Speyburn distillery right there in the glen, using authentic river stones from the bed of the fast-flowing River Spey itself. Over 100 years after its founding, Speyburn remains the only distillery to use the pure, crystal-clear water of the Granty Burn.
Building in the valley came with its own challenges
Set in a steep valley with limited space, the distillery had to be built vertically over three levels with layered mesh drying floors if it was to fit into the narrow space. So, Charles C. Doig, the world famous distillery designer and innovator, designed an entirely new shape of distillery. Doig’s hand can also be seen in the Pagoda style roof that breaches the tops of our trees. Doig himself invented this design to create an even airflow over the grains as they dried. It has become an iconic symbol of a traditional approach.
As it turned out Hopkins was a man of his word
On the last night of the year, Hopkins and his team toiled through a storm of Arctic proportions to craft a whisky in time to toast the Queen’s Jubilee. Determined that their first bottle would bear the year 1897 on its label, the men battled against the elements wearing overcoats and mufflers to protect them from the freezing snow. After hours of hard work and with heroic efforts of his distillery men, Hopkins finally triumphed and was rewarded with the first barrel of Speyburn whisky.
Speyburn is Speyside
120 years since distilling our first drop, Speyburn is now more than a whisky. Bold, bright and full of character, our Speyside single malts are as inspiring to newcomers as they are to seasoned whisky enthusiasts, allowing everyone, everywhere to enjoy the beautiful simplicity of Speyside. Today we are proud to symbolise all that is special about this great region.
To celebrate Speyside, we currently offer a range of expressions. Whichever Speyburn offering is selected, you can expect to enjoy the classic taste of Speyside in every dram. After all, Speyburn is Speyside.
Speyburn Distillery founded by John Hopkins
First spirit put into cask in December to mark Queen’s Jubilee
Distillery sold to The Distillers Company Limited
Distillery temporarily closed and used to house the Scottish Artillery Regiments
Distillery reopened for production after Second World War
A tractor replaced the distillery’s horse & cart
Two stills converted from coal-fired to indirect steam heating
Innovative drum maltings ceased operation
Speyburn Distillery sold onto current owners Inver House Distillers