Annandale Distillery was established in 1836 by George Donald, and has had three owners since its establishment, Liverpudlian wine and spirits merchant John Sykes Gardner (1883-1893) then it was later bought by the famous John Walker “Johnnie Walker” in 1893 but sadly due to issues caused by the first world war it ceased production in 1918 and was sold to the Robinson family in 1924.
In 2007 the distillery was bought by the Annandale Distillery Company LTD which is owned by Prof David Thomson and Teresa Church. Investing £10m to completely restore the heavily dilapidated Annandale Distillery back to its former glory and beyond. Keeping it independently owned and employing over 20 people.
In November 2014, the Annandale Visitor Centre opened and the first casks were filled. The first cask of unpeated whisky made the news and was put up for sale for a staggering £1million. The first cask of peated whisky 'Cask 40' was filled by ex- Scotland Rugby Union player Doddie Weir. Doddie was invited to do this after unwittingly becoming involved in the restoration of Annandale distillery by the distillery's rugby fan owner Prof David Thomson.
In November 2017, the first cask was broached, by the two owners David and Teresa. And in December of the same year Doddie Weir returned to broach the first peated cask. 99 of the bottles from the first ever peated cask were sold and auctioned off to raise money for Doddie Weir's charity the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation to help people with Motor Neuron Disease and to hopefully find a cure. And in July 2019 the distillery handed over a cheque to Doddie for £27,800 from the money raised from the bottles.
In June 2018 Annandale distillery released their first release, twenty 2014 production casks were selected for bottling. Annandale Distillery's single cask, single malt scotch whiskies are branded as (unpeated) Man O'Words named after Robert Burns the once local exciseman in Annan and 'Scotland's national poet' and (peated) Man O'Sword named after King Robert The Bruce the former 7th Lord of Annandale and King of Scots, who once had a motte and bailey castle local to the distillery.
In September 2018, four more casks were selected to be bottled. These were two 2015 first fill Bourbon casks (peated and unpeated) and two authentic Oloroso Spanish Oak Sherry casks (peated and unpeated). All four were selected by the late Dr Jim Swan. The bottles from these casks were released in late November 2018, under the same Man O'Sword and Man O'Words Trademark made famous by Annandale's inaugural first release earlier the same year.
Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
Fast forward to 2018/19 when the very first of our fastest maturing Single Malts were beginning to reach sensory maturity. It was perfectly clear that the combination of Jim Swan’s plant and process design, our choice of casks and Annandale’s perfect maturation microclimate, had delivered against our ‘theoretical’ sensory profiles……exactly! Better still, both our peated and unpeated Single Malts were highly acclaimed in Jim Murray’s 2019 & 2020 Whisky Bibles, with one of our 2015 peated casks receiving the accolade in 2020 of ‘Best Single Cask, Single Malt Scotch Whisky – 10 Years and Under’.
CLASSIC TOUR £15
Annandale Distillery has been through three whisky eras. Whilst in the ownership of the famous Johnnie Walker, Annandale Distillery closed in 1918. Rescued by David Thomson & Teresa Church in 2007, this once derelict distillery sprang back into life on November 3rd, 2014.
Enjoy our famous one hour Classic Tour, now including free bespoke Annandale branded gifts. Learn about the history of Annandale Distillery and how we produce fine Single Malt Scotch Whisky, and finish with a taste of 5 of Annandale’s exceptional whiskies!
Due to government advice and social distancing guidelines our offering and service style have been adapted to keep you safe and comfortable. If your social bubble is larger than 6 people please call the distillery on 01461207817 directly and we will help make arrangements for you to join us.
Last available daily tour is at 3pm.
12-15yrs £4.50, under 12yrs go free.
Duration: 1 hour