Speyburn was established by John and Edward Hopkins in 1897. The two men set out to create a single malt that would carry the date stamp of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
The distillery stands near the centre of the Speyside region in Scotland. It produces single malt Scotch whisky.
Speyburn produces a sweet, grassy spirit. Common tasting notes include apple, pear and soft citrus.
Speyburn is capable of producing 1 million litres of spirit per annum.
Long fermentation creates fruity flavours in the wash. This carries through to the spirit.
The distillery is equipped with one wash still and two smaller spirit stills. This encourages copper contact in the spirits run and helps to ensure a pure new make.
Spirit matures predominantly in bourbon whiskey casks. However, sherry casks have also been used to create different flavour profiles.
The distillery's core range is led by the flagship 10-year-old single malt, bottled at 40%. Other age statements include 15 and 18-year-old bottlings. The Bradan Orach no-age-statement release, meanwhile, features whisky matured in American oak ex-bourbon casks. The Arranta Casks release is available exclusively in the US. In addition, there are several Travel Retail exclusives.
In 2012, the distillery released a 37-year-old, 1975 single cask, single malt whisky. Finished in a Pedro Ximenez sherry cask, it was bottled exclusively for the Speyburn Clan.
John and Edward Hopkins set out to establish a distillery whose birth would coincide with the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.
Speyburn was designed and built by famed architect Charles Doig, using stone hauled up from the River Spey. Due to severe weather, the project suffered several delays. By November of 1897, building work was still ongoing.
November became December and the site still wasn't ready. Unwilling to admit defeat, the Hopkins’ brought in distillery staff to test the equipment whilst construction work continued around them.
In the midst of a snowstorm, the men toiled in a still-house that was completely open to the elements. Wrapped in overcoats and mufflers, they completed the first spirit run on Christmas day. The first cask, a butt, was filled on the 31st of December. At the very last minute, the Hopkins brothers achieved their ambition.
Several years later, in 1916, Speyburn was taken over by DCL. It remained under their ownership until purchased by current owner Inver House Distillers in 1991. The purchase saw Speyburn join Inver House's other distilleries Old Pulteney, Knockdhu and Balblair.
Speyburn is viewed as an affordable single malt, with the US a particularly important market for the brand. Though budget-friendly pricing hasn’t always aided the brand’s reputation, it regularly places in lists of the top ten best selling single malts.