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Whisky Distilleries and Families - Scotland

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  • John Walker (c.1805 - 1857)
    Founder of the Johnnie Walker whisky distillery empire.
  • Alexander Walker (1837 - 1889)
    of the Johnnie Walker whisky distillery family. He joined the family business in 1856. Advertising had not yet caught on as a marketing vehicle, so Walker turned to other means to make the product memo...
  • John Haig, of Binnington, Midlothian (1758 - 1819)
    ) John Haig opened the Cameron Bridge distillery in Windygates in 1824 and this was the first to produce grain whisky. His cousin, Robert Stein, created the first continuous still while his son, also...
  • Samuel Greenlees (1812 - 1886)
    "Scotland, Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950" Name: Samuel Greenlees Gender: Male Christening Date: 14 Dec 1812 Christening Place: CAMPBELTOWN,ARGYLL,SCOTLAND Birth Date: 09 Dec 1812 F...
  • William Greenlees (1846 - d.)
    The table at , has this person as number 93. Not verified or sourced - CJB 12-04-2013

Whisky Distilleries and Families of Scotland

The object of this project is to identify the families of Scottish whisky distillers who have been added to Geni.

The aim is to link those profiles to the names in the list below, and to expand notes about individuals on the Profile page in the "About Me" field, or here if no profile exists.

To take part in any project

- you do need to first be a collaborator - so join the project. See the discussion Project Help: How to add Text to a Project - Starter Kit to get you going!

How to Participate

  • Please add only the distillery founder - not their entire family!! This is easily done from the profile page using the Add to project link.
  • If you have any queries related to these people please start a discussion linked to this project. (See the menu top right).
  • Please add related projects to the menu on the right.
  • If you have links to related web pages that would be of interest to others please add them in the relevant section at the bottom of the page.
  • Use the drop down menu at the top left of the screen to Join the Project. If this option is not available to you then contact a collaborator and ask to be added to the project. As a collaborator you will be able to edit this page.

How to add a link is explained in the attached document - Adding links to Geni profiles in projects.

Names with Bold links are to Geni profiles. Non-bold links take you to other biographical web pages.



  • William Abercrombie
  • James Allardice
  • Raymond Armstrong
  • Henry Arnott


  • Robert Bain
  • John Bald
  • Captain Robert Barclay
  • John Begg
  • Robert Borwick
  • Peter Brown
  • William Brown (son of Peter)
  • James Buchanan
  • Norman Buchanan


  • Rémy Cointreau
  • Thomas & George Colvin
  • George Copper
  • John Cruikshank
  • John Cumming
  • Harold Currie


  • James Davidson
  • John Dewar
  • Robert Dick
  • John Duff
  • Angus Dundee
  • James Durie


  • Magnus Eunson


  • James Fairlie
  • James Findlater
  • James Flemming
  • Archibald Fletcher
  • James Furgusson.


  • Stewart Galbraith
  • Alexander Gordon
  • James Gordon
  • William, Robert and John Gourlay and father William
  • Walter Graham
  • Major James Grant
  • John Grant
  • William Grant
  • Greenlees
  • Thomas Gunn


  • John Haig
  • Robert Haig
  • Robert Hay
  • Hector Henderson
  • James Henderson
  • Joseph Robert Holmes
  • John Hopkins & Co


  • John Innes


  • John Jameson
  • Donald Johnston, descendant of John Johnston below.
  • Dugald Johnston
  • John Johnston
  • Robert Johnstone


  • Roderick Kemp


  • Lang Brothers
  • W.P. Lowrie


  • MacAskill brothers
  • Duncan MacCallum
  • Alexander MacDonald
  • (Long) John MacDonald
  • Alexander Mackenzie
  • Peter MacKenzie
  • William MacKenzie
  • Donald Mackintosh
  • Alexander Matheson
  • William Matheson
  • David McAndies
  • McClelland family
  • John McDougall
  • James McGregor
  • Peter McKenzie
  • James McKilligan
  • Donald McLennan
  • Ian McLeod
  • Alexander Milne
  • William Mitchell
  • John Morrison
  • John Mowbray
  • James Mutter
  • William Mutter


  • J.K. & D. Orr


  • William Paul
  • Andrew Peary
  • Philp, owners of the Kilbagie, Kennetpans and Dolls distilleries.
  • James Shearer Priest
  • Sir William Pulteney


  • John Ramsay
  • George and John Rate
  • Alexander Reid
  • Alexander Reid Jnr.
  • John Robertson
  • David Rose
  • George Rose - son of David
  • James Rose
  • John Ross


  • David Scott
  • George Sellar
  • Charles Shires
  • David Simpson
  • Thomas Simpson
  • William Simpson
  • John Sinclair
  • George Smith/ "Gow"
  • John Smith
  • William Smith
  • Richard Stackpole
  • Stark brothers
  • Andrew Stein
  • Stein (allied to the Haig)
  • James Stein (1740-1804)
  • Robert Stein (1770-1854]
  • John and Hugh Stevenson
  • James Stuart
  • William Stuart
  • James Sutherland


  • George Taylor
  • Adam Teacher
  • William Teacher
  • George Thomson
  • John Thomson
  • John Tytler Thomson (possibly the same man as above)


  • Hiram Walker
  • Alexander Walker (1837–1889) was the son of John ‘Johnnie’ Walker of the whisky brand. He inherited the company in 1857 and expanded its business, exporting whisky throughout the British Empire.
  • John 'Johnie' Walker (1805-1857) Scottish grocer, who originated what would become one of the world’s most famous whisky brand names, Johnnie Walker.
  • Welsh
  • William Williams
  • Anthony Wills
  • Alexander Wilson
  • John Wilson


  • William Young


founded by James Gordon but was transferred to its current location by James Flemming in 1879.

John Morrison bought the Knock estate in 1892 from the Duke of Fife and discovered later some nice water burns on the Knock hillside. John Morrison was so impressed by the quality of the water that he let examine it by a specialised laboratory. One month later, the negotiations necessary to build a distillery were finished, and Knockdhu was born.

A first legal distillery belonging to Alexander Stewart closed in 1794, but the production went on, the distillery being situated in a place which was an excellent moonshine distillers' den during the 18th century. After a period rich in setbacks with the excise men, a legal distillery was built in 1815 by John McDougall.

The distillery was established by Adam Teacher (son of William Teacher) in 1898.

The distillery remained the property of the Teacher family throughout its history

The distillery of the Isle of Arran has been founded by Harold Currie, former director of Chivas and of House of Campbell.

The distillery was probably been founded around 1825 by Irish refugees trying to escape to the famine in their county.

Supposedly founded by John Ross - 1749. Balblair is the second oldest distillery in Scotland.

founded in 1824 by James McGregor who was a moonshine distiller in the Tomintoul areafor years, together with his two brothers.

Originally founded under the name of Glen Gordon, The Balvenie is the second distillery build by William Grant (after Glenfiddich) in 1887.

  • Banff - Banffshire - 1824

founded in 1824 by James Mc Killigan.

founded in 1925 by (Long) John MacDonald

founded in 1898 by John Duff, who built the Longmorn distillery one year earlier.

Peter McKenzie was the first licence holder of this distillery. It was taken over by John Innes, and in 1845 by William Smith.

founded in 1898 by Duncan MacCallum who was in those times the owner of Glen Nevis in Campbeltown, and by F.W. Brickmann, wine merchant in Leith.

  • Blackhall (Alexander Dewar)
  • Bladnoch - Wigtownshire - 1817

Bladnoch, the most southern distillery of Scotland, was originally a farm created between 1814 and 1817 by the McClelland family. The family has been the owner of the distillery until 1871 when it was given up to the company T&A McClelland and Co

  • Blair Athol
  • Bowmore - Islay, Argyll - 1779

founded in 1779 by David Simpson in the capital of the island, Bowmore. The distillery stayed in the Simpson family until 1837 when it was sold to William and James Mutter. James Mutter was also consul of the Ottoman Empire, Brazil and Portugal in Glasgow.

  • Brackla
  • Braeval (Braes of Glenlivet) - Banffshire - 1973
  • Brechin - built in 1820 by a family of bankers and farmers. Name not yet found CJB
  • Brora - Sutherland - 1819

originally called Clynelish, founded by the Marquis of Stafford, who later became the Duke of Sutherland

built in 1881 by the Harvey brothers: William, Robert and John Gourlay. Their father, William Harvey was the owner of the once famous Glasgow distilleries Dundashill and Yoker and bequeathed the money to his sons expressly to build a distillery on Islay.

Built by the Greenlees brothers between 1881 and 1893

  • Caledonian
  • Cambus - Clackmannanshire - 1806

founded by John Mowbray

Grain whiskey - founded by John Haig

  • Canonmills - Edinburgh
  • Caol Ila - Islay - SArgyll - 1846

built by Hector Henderson in 1846, who was at the time also the owner of the Littlemill Lowland distillery.

founder Major James Grant,

  • Cardhu (Cardow) - Banffshire - 1824

John Cumming converted the family farm called Cardow into a distillery round 1810

founded in 1799 by John Bald. Carsebridge was first a malt distillery but was changed to grain distillery in 1851-1852.

built in 1894 in Dufftown by the Convalmore-Glenlivet Distillery Co Ltd and taken over by W.P. Lowrie & Co (part of the James Buchanan & Co group). The distillery was partially destroyed by fire in 1909.

founded by John Smith in 1869.

William Mackenzie founded the Dailuaine distillery in 1852

designed by the architect Charles Doig, who is probably the inventor of the pagoda roofs. The building has been financed by the blender Wright & Greig.

  • Dalmore - Ross-shire - 1839 -

founded in 1839 by Alexander Matheson

John Grant, George Sellar and Alexander Mackenzie founded the Strathspey distillery in 1897

  • Deanston - Perthshire - 1965
  • Dolls distillery (later renamed Glenochil) founded 1746
  • Dufftown - Banffshire - 1896

Peter MacKenzie and Richard Stackpole built the distillery in Dufftown.

created in 1938 by Hiram Walker, short after he acquired Ballantine in 1936

The smallest distillery in Scotland. Edradour is the last original "farm" distillery - Founded by a cooperative of farmers from Edradour

Founder- James Durie

  • Finlaggan Islay
  • Garnheath - Lanarkshire - 1964
  • Gilcomstan (in Aberdeen) founded in 1751, closed 1763. Established by the Gilcomston Distillery Co.
  • Girvan - Ayrshire - 1963

Girvan Distillery built by William Grant & Sons Ltd

founded in 1844 by the Mayor of Inverness, James Sutherland.

founded at the end of the whisky-boom in 1898. - William Simpson

founder is Thomas Simpson who kept the distillery for 30 years, before selling it to Ingram, Lamb & Co

named after its two founders, James and John Grant.

build near Elgin by Henry Arnott & Co

First owners were Robert Johnstone and Donald McLennan.

founded in 1832 and not in 1835 as mentioned on the bottle, by Stewart Galbraith under the name of Scotia Distillery.

James Stuart altered an old mill to make it a distillery in 1884.

founded in 1967 by the Mackinlay McPherson Ltd.

William Paul initiated the whisky production on the site in 1829 although a plaque on the building says it was built in 1810

founded in 1825 near the royal burgh Brechin by George Copper. Two years later it was sold to David Scott.

founded by James Allardice in 1826

created in 1897 by the blender William Williams

Robert Hay founded the Glenfarclas distillery in 1844 with equipment from the Dandaliet distillery. When Robert Hay died in 1865, the distillery was taken over by John Grant, and is nowadays still in its family.

William Grant founded the distillery

Owner Ian McLeod, founded under the name Burnfoot Distillery (or "Burnfood of Dumgoyne"), then known as Glen Guin Distillery when it became property of Lang Brothers

  • Glengyle - Argyll - 1872, closed in 1925 and re-established in 2000

created in 1872 by William Mitchell

founded by the brothers George and John Rate

he family of George Smith was producing whisky in the valley of the Livet for ages. Their name was "Gow" till they preferred changing in it "Smith" after a lost battle against England.

founded in 1898 by David McAndies, who was the director of the Glenlochy Fort William Distillery Co.

founded in 1876 by John Duff

In 1843, William Matheson bought a licence to produce whisky and transformed the brewery into a distillery.

The Glenrothes distillery was build from 1878 by James Stuart & Co, at that time tenants of the Macallan distillery. James Stuart had some problems with the bank and the William Grant & Co company finished the construction of Glenrothes. The William Grant & Co was formed by three associates: William Grant, John Cruikshank and Robert Dick.

created by W.P. Lowrie, a blender of Glasgow and James Buchanan.

founded in 1824 by Captain Robert Barclay

Founded in 1780 by William Young, later to belong to Andrew Stein (1741 - 1828).

t the end of the 18th century, preacher Magnus Eunson who was a famous smuggler, is supposed to have distilled spirit on the place of the current distillery. The current distillery was built in 1825 by Robert Borwick, but is became soon the property of John Robertson who was the excise man who jailed Magnus Eunson for moonshine distilling.

James Buchanan, John Dewar and John Walker)

founded in 1871 by Alexander Wilson & Co Ltd. Alexander was the nephew of the founder of the Tochineal Distillery, John Wilson.

established in 1959 by Invergordon Distillers Ltd

  • Jura - Argyll - 1810

built in 1810, the first known owner was William Abercrombie who obtained a licence in 1831. From 1832 the distillery was managed by Archibald Fletcher for about 20 years. It had several owners during the 19th century: J&A Gardner, Norman Buchanan J.K. & D. Orr and James Furgusson.

Anthony Wills, owner of Kilchoman

Founded c1780 by Robert Stein financed by his brother James Stein of Kilbagie.

founded in 1898 by John Thomson

built by John Tytler Thomson in 1898

created in 1966 by William Grant & Sons (owners of Glenfiddich and The Balvenie)

founder, John Johnston.

founded by Donald Johnston, whose father created Lagavulin a few years earlier. When Donald died, his son Dugald Johnston inherited the distillery, but as he was only 11 years old, Walter Graham from the neighbour distillery Lagavulin managed it.

Peter Brown began distilling whisky at Linkwood in 1824. After his death, his son, William Brown ran the distillery for another 30 years

The first Lochnagar distillery was burnt down in suspicious circumstances in 1824 and a replacement again burnt down in 1841.[1] In 1845 John Begg built the "new" Lochnagar.

founded by the Mac Nab

Founded by John Haig, brother of James of Canonmills.

founded by the Mac Nab distillers company on the site of an old brewery

Built on the site of an old chapel, the Longmorn distillery has been founded by John Duff and two associates, Charles Shirres and George Thomson in 1894

  • First licensed in 1824 by Alexander Reid. Succeeded at his death in 1847 by his son Alexander Reid. When Alexander Reid Jnr. died in 1858, the distillery was controlled by James Shearer Priest and James Davidson until it was acquired by James Stuart, and in 1892 was owned by Roderick Kemp.

created by the Glen Deveron Distillers Ltd in 1960

founded in 1971 by John Haig & Co

founded by a Mr. Welsh - came under the control of James Rose and Alexander MacDonald in 1825. In 1853, David Rose acquired the distillery and transferred control to his son, George Rose, in 1881

founded in 1824 by Robert Bain and Andrew Peary, and sold to William Stuart

1823-24 - Established by 'James Findlater, Alexander Gordon & Donald Mackintosh

Owned by Hiram Walker (until 1981)

  • North Port (Brechin above)
  • Oban - Argyll - 1794

John and Hugh Stevenson were the founders of not only of the distillery at Oban but of the town itself.

  • Pittyvaich - Banffshire - 1975

Built by Arthur Bell & Sons Ltd - demolished 2003

developed as a distillery under John Ramsay from 1833 to 1892

established in 1826 by James Henderson in the name of Sir William Pulteney (who died in 1805), and for whom Pulteneytown is named

a distillery existed in Falkirk as early as 1798, run run by the Stark brothers in Laurieston. In 1817, James Robertson opened a distillery nearby named Rosebank which remained open to 1819

founded in 1885 by Macfarlane & Townsend

  • Speyburn - Morayshire - 1897

Established by John Hopkins & Co

  • Speyside - Inveress-shire - 1990
  • Springbank - Argyll - 1828

Founded in 1828 by Archibald Mitchell, Springbank has always been the property of the Mitchell family. Archibald is the great-grandfather of the current owner.

founded by George Taylor and Alexander Milne under the name of Milltown Distillery in 1786.

the Talisker distillery was created by the brothers Mac Askill.

created in 1896-97 by a blenders group

  • Tamnavulin - Banffshire - 1966

created in 1966 by Invergordon and acquired later by Whyte and Mackay.

founded by captain Hugh Munro in 1817

founded in 1823 in the buildings of a former brewery created in 1798 by the John Sinclair.

Created in 1897 by a group of businessmen from Inverness under the name of the "The Tomatin-Spey District-Distillery Co"

  • Tomintoul - Banffshire - 1964

founded in 1964 by the W&S Strong and Hay & MacLeod companies.

  • Tormore - Morayshire - 1959

built between 1958 and 1960 for Long John International, designed by the architect Sir Albert Richardson

  • Tullibardine - Perthshire - 1949

built by the well known architect Delmé Evans

  • Underwood - Stirlingshire - 1780

Founded 1780 by Thomas & George Colvin


  • BenRiach Distillery Company Ltd
  • Berry Bros & Rudd Ltd
  • Burn Stewart Distillers
  • Campari
  • The Edrington Group
  • Glenmorangie Plc (LVMH)
  • Gordon & MacPhail
  • Inver House Distillers Ltd
  • Isle of Arran Distillers Co. Plc.
  • J. & G. Grant
  • J. and A. Mitchell
  • John Dewar's and Sons (Bacardi)
  • Loch Lomond Distillery Co Ltd
  • La Martiniquaise
  • Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd (Suntory)
  • Nikka Whisky Distilling Company Ltd
  • Pernod Ricard
  • Scaent Group Ltd.
  • Signatory Vintage
  • Speyside Distillery Co. Ltd
  • Takara, Shuzo and Okura & Co Ltd
  • Picard, Vins et Spiritueux
  • United Distillers & Vintners (Diageo)
  • Whitbread (Long John International)
  • Whyte and Mackay
  • William Grant & Sons