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Take the Speyburn tour

Malting

Unique right from the start

Speyburn was the first malt distillery to install “Henning’s Pneumatic Drum Maltings”. Not only did they take up less space, but they needed less manual work (no malt to turn).

The maltings were set out on three levels. The barley on the top level was passed into steeps on the middle floor, which then filled the germination drums. These slowly revolved to stop the rootlets matting together.

After several days the green malt was transferred to the kiln for drying. There were two drying floors, one above the other. Green malt was pre-dried on the top floor before being dropped down onto the bottom floor.

The drum maltings at Speyburn are the only remaining examples. Although they stopped operating in 1967, the original workings and layout remain

Fermentation

The magic begins

Although the maltings are no longer in production, our malt is still stored in the original 4 wooden malt hoppers.

Once milled into grist, the malt is mixed with hot water in a traditional rake mash tun.

The liquid extracted during the mashing (known as wort) is then transferred to Douglas Fir fermentation vessels (called wash backs) where the yeast is added which causes fermentation and creates alcohol.

Distillation

Capturing the spirit

The still house at Speyburn has never been extended and houses only a single pair of stills. These stills are quite small, but their wide necks help to capture the maximum amount of flavour and character. In 1962 they were changed from coal-fired to indirect steam heating.

As a very traditional distillery, Speyburn features worm tub condensers to cool the distilled spirit vapour back into liquid. These worm tubs are 100-metre long copper tubes, and their use contributes to the unique features of the Speyburn spirit - a rich, rounded aroma with hints of spice and a nutty oiliness.

Maturation

Aged to perfection

Speyburn Single Malt sits quietly maturing in one of two traditional dunnage style warehouses.

These warehouses have two floors, using a system of wooden rails, tables and lifts to store casks two and three high.

This style of warehouse ensures high levels of humidity, which, like fine wine, is the optimum atmosphere for the maturation of fine Single Malt whisky.