Charles Mackinlay and Company Limited
The original Charles Mackinlay started business as a wine merchant in the port of Leith in 1815 and a tradition grew up whereby the business passed from father to son and so it continued as a family company through five generations until 1961 when it became part of the Waverley Group Ltd., the wine and spirits subsidiary of Scottish & Newcastle Breweries Ltd. Charles Mackinlay & Co. Ltd was acquired by Invergordon Distillers in 1985 which, in turn, became part of Whyte and Mackay, who continue to promote the brand.
The Mackinlay involvement in whisky started off on an agency basis until they decided to produce their own proprietary brands, beginning with Mackinlay’s Vatted Old Ben Vorlich. They went on to become suppliers of whisky to the Houses of Parliament and enjoyed a particularly unique contribution to whisky history by supplying 25 cases of Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt from the Glen Mhor distillery, which they part-owned at the time, to the ill-fated Shackleton expedition to Antarctica.
Well before then, however, The Original Mackinlay had been established as the company’s flagship product to be followed later on by Mackinlay’s Legacy and Mackinlay's VOB.
In 2007, 11 bottles of Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt were found in the ice at Shackleton’s Antarctic base camp. The liquid was recreated for two limited edition releases –The Discovery and The Journey – both of which contain malt whisky from Glen Mhor and other distilleries.