Our Story

1790

Balblair 1790

Balblair is born

The Balblair Distillery is established by local man, John Ross, on the estate of the Rosses of Balnagowan.

1824

John Ross

The Ross Family

John Ross is joined by his son, Andrew, and thereafter the sons and grandsons of John Ross operated the Balblair farm and distillery until the last years of the 19th century.

1862

Railway

Full Steam Ahead

The Highland Railway Company build the Inverness to Ardgay line, opening up new opportunities for Balblair.

1894

Balblair Gate

Alexander Cowan

James Ross gives up the tenancy of Balblair to Alexander Cowan, a wine merchant from Inverness. He transforms the distillery, building offices, a still house, mash house, kiln and barns.

1895

Balblair Edderton Distillery

Moving with the times

By now the railway had come to Balblair bringing coal for the still and boiler and barley for the malting. To take advantage of the railway line the Distillery is moved half a mile north to its current location.

1911

Distillery closes in 1911

Mothballed

Tough economic times force Balblair to cease production.

1932

Balblair filling station

The last drop

The last Balblair bottles of the era leave the warehouses.

1939

Bablair fermentation

By Royal Appointment

It is probably just as well that the distillery was dry, as the next occupants were the Norwegian Army, after the buildings were commandeered by the British Army for the duration of the Second World War.

1948

Balblair Whisky casks being filled

THE TRUE HIGHLAND SPIRIT LIVES ON

Under Bertie’s stewardship, production resumes for the first time since before the First World War.

1949

Balblair Whisky Distillery Team

ROBERT JAMES “BERTIE” CUMMING

Robert James “Bertie” Cumming, a solicitor from Banff, purchases the distillery for £48,000.

1960

Balblair Distillery

END OF THE LINE

The Edderton Railway Station closes.

1964

Balblair Distillery aerial shot

DISTILLERY EXPANSION

Growing demand encourages Bertie to invest in extra warehouses and their first steam boiler.

1970

Balblair Distllery 1979

HIRAM WALKER

Bertie sells Balblair to a man named Hiram Walker, whose company would later become Allied Distillers.

1980

Balblair Stills

INVESTING IN THE FUTURE

Extensive development happens throughout the 1980s.

1996

Balblair Distillery

Inver House Distillers

Balblair Distillery is purchased by Inver House Distillers and so begins the newest chapter in the history of this timeless distillery.

2007

Balblair Cask 2007

Vintage Balblair

The distillery makes the move to release Balblair as a Vintage Whisky, with every bottling marked with the year in which the whisky was distilled.

2019

The Balblair Collection Balblair Whisky

A New Era

The distillery releases a new range of age-statement expressions. Each one has its own unique characteristics, but all them exude our True Highland Spirit.