The History Of Linkwood


Built by Peter Brown, a local Factor, to make his land more productive. The idea was barley grown on his land makes the whisky, the used up husks of the barley - known as draff - fed the cattle, and the cattle fertilized the land.


Production begins in earnest, with the distillery making over 1000 gallons a year from its two stills.


Peter Brown dies and the role of distillery manager passes to his son, William Brown. William runs the distillery for 35 years.


William demolishes the older buildings and builds bigger, more modern premises, raising capacity to 50,000 gallons in the process.


William’s improvements are the talk of the town, with the local journal reporting Brown’s changes hadn’t affected Linkwood’s now famous flavour.


William Brown dies a successful man, his business having weathered the low demand for whisky during the 1880s.


Brown’s successors float the Linkwood-Glenlivet Distillery Co. Ltd, double the production capacity.


Robert Innes Cameron, a whisky broker, distillery owner and highly influential individual in the whisky world, joins the board. Innes Cameron later becomes the main shareholder and MD, steering the distillery to success until his death in 1932.


The distillery is sold to Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd.


The outbreak of the Second World War causes barley shortages and the distillery pauses production.


The end of the war sees Linkwood reopen under the management of Roderick MacKenzie, a position he will hold for 18 years. MacKenzie is often credited with preserving the character of the whisky – something he believed was connected to everything in the whisky’s environment. It’s said he refused to allow staff to remove the cobwebs.


Linkwood is rebuilt and new stills installed. Though just a year before retirement, MacKenzie oversees the work, and insists the new stills are exact replicas of their predecessors.


A second distillery with four stills is built next to the older buildings, to satisfy growing demand.