Records of Mackinlays and Birnie Ltd, Inverness

Scope and Content

  • Corporate records including minutes and annual reports, 1906-1971
  • Financial records, 1944-1973
  • Shareholding records, 1953-1971
  • Correspondence, 1951-1971
  • Production records, 1956-1963
  • Patents and trademarks, 1965-1966
  • Staff records, 1968-1971
  • Property records, 1951-1962
  • Photographs, 1940s-1960s

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1892 James Mackinlay of Charles Mackinlay and Co. formed a partnership with John Birnie, former Manager of Glen Albyn Distillery. The partnership was responsible for the construction of Glen Mhor Distillery on the bank of the Caledonian Canal in Inverness. The partnership was later incorporated in 1906, forming Mackinlays and Birnie Ltd. In 1920 Mackinlays and Birnie Ltd purchased the Glen Albyn Distillery, a highland malt whisky distillery originally founded in 1846 by Provost James Sutherland of Inverness. Following a period of disuse Glen Albyn was converted to grain mill c.1866 before once again being repurposed as a distillery in 1884.

Throughout their period of ownership, the company continued to operate from both Glen Mhor and Glen Albyn distilleries. John Birnie’s son, William Birnie, assumed responsibility for running of the company until the eventual sale of both distilleries to Distilleries Company Ltd in 1972. Both Glen Mhor and Glen Albyn were subsequently closed by Distilleries Company Ltd in 1983 and both sites have since been demolished.

  • Sources:
  • Moss, Michael S., and John R. Hume, The Making of Scotch Whisky (Edinburgh: Canongate, 2000)
  • Paterson, Richard, and Gavin D Smith, Goodness Nose: The Passionate Revelations of a Scotch Whisky Master Blender (Neil Wilson Publishing, 2008)
  • 16 April 2020]
  •[accessed 16 April 2020]


Arranged chronologically within thematic record series.

Access Information

Access to certain records within this collection may be restricted or closed for reasons of customer, commercial or third-party confidentiality.  Please email Archives & Special Collections for advice on how to apply for access to these records:

Acquisition Information

  • Deposit : Whyte and Mackay Ltd : 14 Dec 2015 : ACCN 4004
  • Deposit : Whyte and Mackay Ltd: Sept 2019 : ACCN 4304
  • Transfer : Whyte and Mackay Ltd : 27 Mar 2020 : GB 248 UGD 224

Other Finding Aids

A detailed catalogue is available at University of Glasgow Collections

Digital file level list available in the searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies of this material

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affects the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents. Applications for permission to quote should be sent to:

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard ASC procedures.

Custodial History

Received directly from creator


No further materials are expected for this collection.

Related Material

GB 1877: Diageo Archive

Location of Originals

This material is original