Banff distillery was originally founded in 1824 by J. McKilligan & Co.  and later taken over by Alex Mackay in 1837, then by James Simpson (Father and Son) in 1852.

In 1863 they built a new distillery, also in Inverboyndie, but with a better location and water supply which replaced the older distillery.

In 1921 the Simpson family sold some of their interest in Banff to a subsidiary of Taylor Walker, but in 1932 the whole distillery was purchased by SMD, part of DCL who immediately closed the distillery.


Banff was bombed and partially destroyed during WWII but was renovated after the war and full production managed to resume, although in 1959 one of the stills caught fire and exploded, causing more damage to the distillery, which was finally closed in 1983 by DCL (Diageo).


Distillery photo with kind permission by Teimei Horiuchi


More great distillery info here thanks to Malt Madness



  Banff General whisky characteristics: Slightly smoky, wood, nuts, complex    

JWWW, 'Old Train Line', Banff, distilled 24.12.1974, bottled 10.2009, 34y, 50.4% ABV

bourbon cask #431

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Spiegelau

Colour: Honey

Nose: Sligthly smoky, rich weathered oak and fresh fruit tree groves in full blossom.

Palate: Leather, nuts, wood and hint of farmyard.

With 4 drops of water: Even smoother, slightly more nuts and even longer finish.

Finish: Very long, even longer with the drops of water.

Overall Impression: I want to say excellent, but this is quite a difficult one so I will say very good and I will also revisit this tomorrow.

As promised I'm revisiting this one a couple of days later:

Nose: The slightly smoky and weathered oak elements are still in evidence, but there's also something beyond that. It's almost like when one uses just a little eucalyptus in a sauna; A mix of hot, almost scorching wood with an aromatic herbal touch.

Palate: I agree with my last analysis; leather, wood, faint nuts and just a hint of farmyard. This is very smooth!

Finish: Very long with just a hint of coconut right at the end.

Overall Impression: I'll finish where I left off last time in saying this is a very good, perhaps excellent, whisky!



Malts of Scotland, Banff, 42.9% ABV

Distilled 11/1975, bottled 4/2013

MoS Cask Ref.13023

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Yellow gold / almond

Nose: Very pleasant even if I describe this as 'metallic bread-iness', opening to include lots of fruitiness with hints of berries (mainly raspberries) and then a herbal grassiness.

Palate: No breadiness on the palate, just loads of that herbal grassiness and fruitiness. It's really vibrant and zingy.

Finish: Very long and zingy.

Overall Impression: Bread, grass, fruit .... It's a lovely dram.



G&M Banff, 43% ABV

Connoisseur's Choice, distilled 1976, bottled 2010

Typical cost of this bottle; originally , now


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Yellow (9ct) gold

Nose: An initial burst of what appears to be Sunday lunch, specifically raost pork confuses the mind a little, but by the time I've realised what's happening the nose turns to some nice, expanding fruitiness reminiscent of star fruit and pears. After a further 5-7 minutes I detect a light smokiness just like the last embers on a BBQ.

Palate: This is very alive with loads of intense fruitiness (mainly the pears) and no hint of Sunday lunch.

Finish: Medium.

Overall Impression: Nicely strange if you give it enough time.



Silver Seal, Banff, 50% ABV

Distilled Dec.1977, bottled Jan.2002

Typical cost of this bottle; Unknown


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Vibrant yellow gold

Nose: Now that's piercing as it grabs the nostrils and lets them know it's there. It's almost like a very freshly scented soapiness but then not much more, although really quite pleasant in an unexpected way.

Palate: Once again quite sharp just like the nose but with something almost like liquorice.

Finish: Medium to long.

Overall Impression: Definitely an experience and one to wake you up.








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