United Kingdom, Scotland
Some old reviews have been harshly critical, calling Coleburn "substandard and inferior." Ouch! Others have tried bits of the single malt at higher ages and found it solid. We may never know since it is very hard to find a bottle to sample these days.
Coleburn Flavor Spiraltm
  • oak
  • honey
  • dried fruit
  • smoky
  • lime
  • port
  • coffee
  • sweet
  • earthy
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Smartass corner
Coleburn gets its name from the coal mining facilities nearby. In Scotland "cole" is an alternative spelling of the word "coal."
Like many famous distilleries of the era, Coleburn was design by the famous Whisky architect, Charles Doig.


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The remains of the Coleburn Distillery sits six miles south of Elgin, Morayshire along route A96 in the Speyside region.

Coleburn was founded in 1897, by noted Whisky producers John Robertson & Sons. But they sold it lock, stock, and filled barrels, just as their first single malts were getting bottled up in 1916. It was bought, sold, and bought again several times.

Mergers and acquisitions abounded, and it eventually ended up the property of Diageo. But Diageo never really operated it. Any and all production was funneled into blends without ever becoming a core component.

The spirits languished on the commodity market, and Diageo closed them down in 1985 -- stripping the hardware for parts and scrap, but leaving the buildings in tact.

They sold off the real estate, and this too has been sold a few times to developers, with varying plans for the old stone structures. For now they sit in idle decay. The license for the site to produce Whisky expired in 1992.

Aside from a few bottlings by independent companies here and there over the years, all of Coleburn production was earmarked for use in blends. For a while it was used in Yellow Label, Usher blends, Johnnie Walker, and a few others.

Those independent single malt bottlings were handled by all the normal players: Gordon and McPhail, Douglas Laing, and so on. You might be able to find one of those independent bottles on a collector's shelf or at auction somewhere, but they are few and far between.
Distillery info:
  • Country United Kingdom, Scotland
  • Region Speyside
  • Established 1897
  • Type Single malt
  • No. of stills 2 wash, 2 spirit
  • Status Active
  • Address Coleburn Distillery, Longmorn, by Elgin, Moray, IV38 8GN
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