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.
OOLA was founded in 2010 by owner and master distiller Kirby Kallas-Lewis in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. They remain small but have won several awards for their various gins and vodkas. They also produce whiskey and their Whiskey Discourse series is designed to combine different whiskies to see how they interact under different influences. Other entries experiment with smoke and cask finishes. OOLA Three Shores is included in our All-Canada World Whisky Day by reason that it is made up of one part OOLA Waitsburg Bourbon, one part unknown scotch from the Highland region, and one part Canadian rye. So part of it’s still Canadian! They are sourced separately but aged together for at least a year in American Oak.
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.