About the distillery: What a roller coaster history! Built in 1898 and almost immediatelyclosed from 1900-1965! Following “The Great Pattison Crash” in 1900 that killed the Scotch biz, Benriach kept malting barley for Longmorn, its sister distillery. In 1965 Benriach reopened by Glenlivet, in 1978 Glenlivet was bought by Seagram’s, in 2001 bought by Pernod-Ricard, then finally, in 2016, it was bought by Brown-Forman! 2017 saw Brown Forman appoint great master distiller Rachel Barrie as well as the aquisition of Glendronach and Glenglassaugh. With the years in “mothballs” and the resources of the various entities in charge of Benriach, many casks of maturing stocks have been accumulated and Benriach has a thriving “eceletic barrel” program with offerings finished in a myriad of casks like Madiera, red wines, port, and even Jamaican rum!
About the Whisky:
“The Great Pattison Crash”, a Cautionary Tale: At the end of the 1800’s the Scotch biz was booming and investors where throwing money at distillers with credit secured by stores of whisky that kept rising in value. What could go wrong?
Enter the Pattison brothers, dairy farmers who started a blending company in 1887. The IPO earned them a staggering 100,000 Pounds overnight and they branched out to distilling, buying large interests in Oban and Glenfarclas to name two.
They spent vast amounts on advertising and a rich lifestyle but kept pulling investors in while the boom continued. In one stunt they handed out 500 African Grey parrots, trained to repeat “Buy Pattison’s Whisky” to their retailers. In 1898 alone they spent the 2018 equivalent of 4.3M Pounds!
When the bubble burst they were deeply in debt thanks to spending, cooking the books, and stretching the bottles labeled “Fine Old Glenlivet” with cheap booze. When the crash came they owed nearly 1,000,000 Pounds, went to jail and directly caused 10 distilleries they were invested in to close. The collapse in whisky production and prices continued for decades causing many other distillers to fold as well.” -Info from Difford’s Guide and The Whisky Wash