Named after its hometown: the whisky capitol of the North
The Dufftown Distillery began as a sawmill and mealmill that were converted in 1896 by Peter Mackenzie, Richard Stackpole, and John Symon, founders of the Dufftown Glenlivit Distillery Co Ltd. Drawing its water from Highlandman Jock's Well in the Conval Hills, the partners received generous approval from local farmers, merchants and Inn keepers and order books quickly filled.
In 1898, on Mackenzie's move to Edinburgh, the company changed to P. Mackenzie & Co Distillers Ltd, which was eventually run by Mackenzie's son John and a new partner, the grain merchant and wines & spirit broker George Stoddart, who had replaced Symon and Stackpole on the board.
Its jealously guarded water supply was frequently redirected in the dead of night by the neighbours, landowners and distillers until a mutual agreement was reached. However, misfortune was to overcome Mackenzie, when, after establishing it as successful blenders in the United States, the company failed to recover from the Prohibition law of 1920-33, forcing the sale of P. Mackenzie, including Duff-town-Glenlivit and Blair Atholl distilleries, to Arthur Bell for just £56,000.
The return to full production (1934-41) was interrupted by the war but resumed in 1947 and continued throughout its expansion in 1968, producing 3,000,000 litres of alcohol throughout the 1970s, and enjoyed a further increase with new stills, mash tun and malt mill. In 1985 Arthur Bell's was acquired by Guiness Pic.
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