The distillery is quite small. Once part owned by the Ballindalloch Estate
it is high on the Spey, where the river meets the Avon and Livet. Cragganmore
was founded in 1869, rebuilt in 1902, and extended in 1964.
© Michael Jackson 1994
Their own notes add that the Ballindalloch Castle estate is still the private
home of the MacPherson-Grants and that Cragganmore is situated on its grounds.
The distillery was founded by the giant (22 stone) John Smith who had already
run the Macallan and Glenfarclas
distilleries and had been commissioning manager at the Glenlivet.
Craggan Mor was chosen as there was plenty of local barley and peat and a good
(and dammable) water supply. Smith paid the Laird at Ballindalloch rent 'in
kind' for his tenancy and raw materials to the benefit of both parties. At the
time there was also a newly opened railway line up the Spey valley
(since dismantled and now part of the Speyside Way)
and Cragganmore was designed from the start to make use of it. Like most
distilleries, Cragganmore is proud of its traditions which in this case include
the use of wooden rather than stainless-steel washbacks. Their stills are also
unusual in having T-shaped heads, designed to reflux the heavier, oilier
elements of the vapour.
A copy of United Distillers' own illustrated pamphlet about Cragganmore can be found here and there is further UD-orientated material in their scotch.com InfoCenter, here
Ballindalloch, Banffshire, AB37 9AB
Hear "Cragganmore" pronounced in AU or WAV format
Search Dr. Do'g's index for the history of Cragganmore
There just might be some news about Cragganmore in The "Scotsman" newspaper