Perhaps a bit of a surprise but we like Macduff for a number of reasons and we enjoy including the 40 years old by Duncan Taylor in our range of tasting whiskies where it always gets good marks.
In origin, Macduff was something of a speculative venture and was one of a number of Highland malt distilleries which came on stream in the 1960s in the expectation of a long running boom, only to find that things were going into reverse within less than 20 years. Macduff, however, did not become a victim of the 1980’s recession and was in a relatively robust state when I visited it in the spring of 1986.
The distillery was built in 1959 by a consortium of Glasgow whisky brokers, made its first filling on 16 June 1960 and was sold in 1964 before settling down under the ownership of William Lawson Ltd, then a subsidiary of Martini and Rossi, in 1972 where it has remained ever since, albeit as part of the Dewar portfolio following Martini’s acquisition by Bacardi as part of the latter’s expansion into Scotch whisky.
Whilst the distillery buildings are functional, the setting is magical, on the banks of the River Deveron and overlooking the Banff golf course.
Macduff is unique amongst Scottish distilleries in that the name of the single malt whisky bottled by the owners does not, for legal reasons, take the name of the distillery. Instead, it is branded Glen Deveron. That, however, has not prevented independent bottlers from offering Macduff as a single malt under its own name and in a variety of ages.