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The History Of Linkwood

People and places don't just shape a Single Malt Scotch Whisky's flavour. They change the course of its future. Get a taste of how the whisky you love today came to be, with this brief Linkwood timeline.

1821

1821

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.

1825

1825

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

1869

1869

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

1872

1872

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

1874

1874

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.

1893

1893

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

1897

1897

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

1902

1902

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.

1933

1933

The distillery is sold to Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd.

1939

1939

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

1945

1945

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.

1962

1962

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.

1971

1971

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