Balblair: Vintages Tied to Perfection

Established in 1790, Balblair distillery is one of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland and the oldest working distillery in the Highlands. It is strikingly situated by the beautiful Dornoch Firth on the sweep of the Cambuscurrie Bay within sight of the ancient Clach Biorach standing stone.

The original source of its water is still used to this day. The delightful and winding Allt Dearg burn flows fresh and clear from the surrounding hills.

Balblair was founded by John Ross in 1790. He ran it as a thriving business and, in 1824, was joined by his son, Andrew.

The distillery stayed in the Ross family until the late 19th century when the tenancy was taken over by Alexander Cowan. Cowan ran the distillery for over half a century, before finally selling the freehold to Robert ?Bertie” Cumming.

Bertie’s impact was remarkable, promptly expanding the distillery and increasing production, before retiring in 1970. He sold to what became Allied Distillers. Then, in 1996, Balblair was purchased by Inver House Distillers. And so began this newest chapter in the history of this timeless distillery.

Balblair whiskies are uniquely vintage. The bottles are not marked with an age statement, but simply with the year that the whisky was laid down. All of the whisky in the bottle is of one age. Every year, distillery Manager John MacDonald tastes, judges and selects straight from the case the whisky that have reached the peak of perfection; the moment when the balance between the age and the character of the whisky is just right.

Editorial disclosure: Balblair is one of five brands of the InterBevGroup that have provided some initial development funding for this site. In lieu of that support, Balblair is the initial advertiser of our “Fine Arts” category.


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Josh is an author, former blogger, media critic, x-Capitol Hill legislative aide and White House assistant, business consultant, idea marketing specialist, a squatter at the global village virtual bar and an alpine rock gardener where he lives in Woodstock, NY.