The Cragganmore Distillery is located in Spey Valley, in Speyside in the Scottish Highlands. Located on the banks of the River Spey, its site was selected by founder John Smith as the perfect place for his distillery, with local barley, the freshest water and peat in abundance - along with the new Strathspey railway in close proximity.
‘Big’ John Smith founded the Cragganmore Distillery in 1869, and although only a young man of 36 he had a vast amount of experience having been manager of the Glenfarclas, Wishaw, Macallan, and Glenlivet distilleries. Upon his death in 1886, his 14 year old son Gordon inherited the distillery. John Smith’s brother oversaw it’s running until Gordon reached maturity, and in 1893 after learning his trade in South Africa he took over his father’s distillery. In 1901 he proceeded with a full rebuilding and expansion plan, looking to modernise the production. The two pairs of flat-top and short stills, which are often praised for the effect on the taste and aroma of the whisky, were kept however, keeping the Cragganmore tradition.
After his death, Gordon’s widow sold the distillery to the White Horse Distilleries Ltd., which is now part of the widely known Diageo group.