Records of Tamdhu-Glenlivet Distillery, whisky distillers, Knockando, Moray, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Compare ledgers 1948-1962
  • Cash books 1896-1972
  • Purchasing records 1924-1968
  • Barley books 1897-1968
  • Malt book 1897-1927
  • Period books 1879-1923
  • Statements to head office 1959-1963
  • Warehouse books 1899-1964
  • Time and wage books 1913-1947
  • Letterbooks 1903-1969
  • Letter files 1896-1967

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1896, William Grant, an agent of the Caledonian Bank in Elgin, Moray, Scotland, and director of Highland Distilleries Co Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland, purchased land beside the Knockando Burn, Moray, on which to build a whisky distillery. By October of the same year, Grant had raised £19,200 from 15 partners including Robertson & Baxter, whisky blenders and merchants, Glasgow, to fund his new venture. The Tamdhu-Glenlivet distillery, designed by the distillery architect and engineer Charles Doig of Elgin, was commissioned in the summer of 1897 with George Reid as manager. Despite disputes over water sources, by June 1898, 214,476 gallons of good quality malt whisky had been produced. In that year, and at the recommendation of Robertson & Baxter, Tamdhu was merged with Highland Distilleries Co Ltd in exchange for 5,500 £5 shares in Highland. From 1899, the distillery was kept under tight control from the Glasgow office of Highland Distilleries Co Ltd which placed emphasis on consistent quality control and, by 1906, the whisky had been perfected to the satisfaction of James Robertson of Robertson & Baxter Ltd.

Between 1911 and 1912, Tamdhu was closed due to the decline in demand but upon reopening the output again until 1925. In 1928, Tamdhu ceased production again, this time until after 1945. In the post-war period the whisky built up a strong reputation amongst blenders and in 1972 and 1975 new stills were added.

In 1972, the distillery was incorporated as Tamdhu-Glenlivit Ltd as a subsidiary of Highland Distilleries Co Ltd. In 1988, the company became known as Tamdhu Distillery Co Ltd.

In 2003, the distillery was still active as part of the Highland Distillers Group Ltd. Its whisky is mainly used for blending although in 1976 the company launched its own eight-year-old single malt whisky which continues to be marketed.


This material has been arranged into six series described in the scope and content note. Within these series the material is generally arranged chronologically.

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