The BenRiach distillery has been through some rough times since it’s founding in 1898. Unfortunately, it has been susceptible to the booms and busts of the industry over the past century and more, closing a number of times in lean years but always coming back. Even when whisky production was halted, however, some aspect of the place still functioned, even if only to product floor maltings sold to other distilleries. It has been owned by Glenlivet, Seagrams, and the BenRiach Distillery Company Ltd. before being sold to the Brown-Forman Corporation in 2016. Starting in the 60s, the distillery has expanded and evolved with each transition and each challenge. For most of its history, it was used as a component in blends and was not released as a BenRiach malt until 1994. Along with this BenRiach 16, the core line is comprised of 10 and 20 year offerings, along with a ranges featuring peat, wood finishes, and premium expressions.
While it might be infamously known for the “pure malt controversy” from the early 2000s, Cardhu has been in almost continual production since its founding by John and Helen Cumming, though for much of its history was known as Cardow after the original farm the distillery started on in 1824. There is a great deal of history around Helen and her daughter-in-law Elizabeth Cumming used in their marketing, for both women ran the distillery during early years to develop and refine the character of the whisky. Around the turn of the 20th century, Cardhu was sold to Johnnie Walker. Cardhu was for many years one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland and has been a staple in Johnnie Walker blends ever since. The current iteration of the Cardhu 12 year began in 2006 and is part of a range that includes the 12, 15, and 18 year single malts, plus two with No Age Statements.
Named after the iconic Scottish loch it sits next to, Loch Lomond arose over two hundred years ago in 1814. Sadly closed in the mists of history, the distillery was resurrected again in 1964 before going quiet again twenty years later. Ever resilient, though, production began again in 1993 and has continued ever since under the helm of Master Distiller John Peterson and Master Blender Michael Henry. Loch Lomond is unique in that it regularly produces single malt, single grain and blended whiskies due to having three sets of stills. The distillery also has their own cooperage on site, one of four distilleries in Scotland to do so. About 10,000 barrels are repaired or re-charred there each year. A recent push has seen their offerings expand into new markets, especially their single malts like this 12 year offering.