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Report - - The Abandoned Whisky Trail, Scotland. Part 1 | Industrial Sites |

Report - The Abandoned Whisky Trail, Scotland. Part 1

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Originally this report was going to take a lot longer to compile and would contain far more sites. But after looking into things a bit, my list went from around 20 abandoned distilleries down to 6, the rest having been demolished, converted or reopened. So I decided to split the explorations of these into 2 trips.

Convalmore Distillery

Information taken from the Silent Distilleries section of ‘’, a very useful site.

“The Convalmore distillery lies in the heart of Speyside, between Glenfiddich and Craigellachie. It was founded in 1893 or 1894 by the Convalmore-Glenlivet Distillery Co Ltd. and changed hands in 1905 or 1906. The new owners, James Buchanan & Co Ltd. had to rebuild the distillery after a fire in 1909. It seems they were feeling adventurous, because they experimented with continuous distillation of malt spirit. The special column still was removed again in 1915. Convalmore operated up until its closure in 1985.

Ownership of the site transferred from United Distillers to Wm. Grant & Sons in 1990, but there's no news on any concrete plans for reopening the distillery.â€Â

This place was the first stop on the trip, and not really the best start…

Access restricted the exploration to a very small part of this distillery, that being the still room (with stills removed and pigeons added…) and what is now used as a storage room for pallets and other items, including a pot still on it’s side and some kind of trolley. Excuse the quality of some/most of the photos, didn’t seem to have much luck with pictures here.







Inside a small building next to a gated entrance –


Imperial Distillery

The next place on the trip was this impressive place, certainly the largest of all the distilleries I’ve seen so far.

“The Imperial distillery was built in 1897 by Thomas Mackenzie.
It was transffered just a year later to Dailuaine-Talisker Distilleries Ltd. who also owned the other distillery in the town of Carron: Dailuaine. Imperial was closed and opened several times until it was rebuilt and reopened in 1955. Ten years later, in 1965, the number of stills was expanded from two to four. Just like Glenury Royal, Imperial was closed in 1985 by DCL and sold to United Distillers a year later. Surprisingly enough, Imperial was acquired and re-opened by Allied Distillers (later: Allied Domecq) in 1989 - only to be mothballed again in 1998.â€Â

Access to all buildings but one or two was really simple, and despite this it’s in pretty good condition, no doubt because of its location.

The entrance, with a car park and houses right next to it –

Stills inside –

Not sure what this thing is, but the lights went on :) -

Large vat –


Inside the other main building -


Some kind of grain lift I’m guessing –



Since the explore a few weeks ago, I’ve heard that this place has reopened. Don’t see how this works really considering what it was like then, but that’s what I heard.


Braeval Distillery

Third stop on the way. And the most enjoyable explore of them all so far. Thanks to PeroXide for telling me how to get in :)

“One of the youngest distilleries in Scotland, Braeval / Braes of Glenlivet
was built in 1973/'74 by Chivas. It's located in the far south of Speyside,
upstream from Tamnavulin and (The) Glenlivet. In 1975 two stills were
added to the existing three and one more in 1978. Pernod Ricard bought
the distillery in 2001 and promptly closed it in 2002.â€Â

The exterior of this place was quite different from other distilleries, and it’s a beautiful building. The interior is pretty flawless, because it’s sealed up pretty tight, and is very, very remote.
For an industrial site this place was also surprisingly colourful, from the pink/copper of the pot stills and tuns, to pipes of every colour, to other machinery in green or bright yellow :)

Also there were 3 or 4 small houses to the back of the distillery, for workers I imagine, but I couldn’t get into anything more than one of the garages. They looked pretty empty inside anyway.

The Distillery coming through the main entrance -

Control Room with computers and microphone -

Pot stills -

Pot stills and pipes from a higher level –


View from the roof -

This was a slightly worrying point of the explore when the door to the roof nearly slammed shut behind me from the wind after a venture out the first time. Fortunately got to it in time and a handy metal bar ensured it stayed open long enough to take a few photos.




A measuring stick from an ‘Intermediate Spirit Reciever’ fully extended. –

Lastly, reception. Although there was no power in the rest of the place, this phone worked, though the tone was a bit crackly -

Part 2 coming soon.