Adelphi is Scotland’s most acclaimed independent bottler of single casks of rare malt whisky.
The original Adelphi Distillery was built in 1826 by brothers Charles and David Gray, on the banks of the River Clyde in what is now the heart of Glasgow. The two acre site had been an orchard, fronted by a wharf and stood just south of the Clyde’s Victoria Bridge on the northern edge of the Gorbals.
Around 1880 it was taken over by Messrs A. Walker and Co, who invested heavily and expanded and improved the business until it became one of the most advanced and productive distilleries in Scotland.
In 1993, Jamie Walker (the great-grandson of Archibald Walker) revived the Adelphi name as an independent bottler in order to explore the mysteries of malt whisky and to make a limited number of rare, well-aged and top quality malt whiskies available to the discerning whisky enthusiast.
In 2003, Jamie was approached by Keith Falconer and his neighbour in Argyll, Donald Houston, on a recommendation, in order to buy a hogshead of whisky. They were so impressed that they ended up buying the company and starting a new phase in the Adelphi story.
Adelphi continues to bottle straight from the finest, rare casks without colouring or chill filtration. Nothing added, nothing taken out – single cask malt whisky as it’s meant to be.
Remaining completely independent, Adelphi is able to offer bottlings from an extensive range of distilleries with Charles Maclean chairing our highly experienced nosing team in the pursuit of excellence. All our whiskies are extremely rigorously selected – our whiskies are our reputation.
From left to right: Alex Bruce (Sales & Marketing Director), Gordon Hamilton (Warehouse & Logistics Manager), Antonia Bruce (European Sales), Keith Falconer (Chairman), Liz Macdonald (Company Secretary), Donald Houston (Director).
Adelphi is headed by Alex Bruce. Whisky is in his blood: his mother is a direct descendant of Andrew Usher who is credited with pioneering blended whisky, and his father, Lord Elgin, is a patron and former Grand Master of the Keepers of the Quaich. Alex was also made a Keeper of the Quaich in 2006. He trained with Remy Martin and J&B. Alex was joined in 2009 by his sister, Antonia, as Adelphi's European Sales representative after several years with Pol Roger UK; Company Secretary, Liz Macdonald, is former P.A. to the Beatles and joined Adelphi in 2004; Production and Logistics Manager, Gordon Hamilton, came on board in August 2010 to implement and run the warehouse and bottling facility in Fife, bringing with him over 30 years’ experience with Glenmorangie,. We were joined in 2013 by Luisa Stucchi, a former BBC programme-maker with a passion for malt whisky and a wealth of experience in PR and administration. Lewis Hamilton completes the team in Fife, where he is learning the ropes and studying for his SVQ in Warehouse and Logistics.
Over in Ardnamurchan, our new distillery manager, Graeme Bowie, has been in the industry since 1985 working at Glen Grant, Balmenach and latterly as Assistant Distillery Manager for Balblair. His breadth of distilling knowledge and production bodes well for the future of distilling in Ardnamurchan
Graeme Bowie, Ardnamurchan Distillery Manager
Extract from Brian Townsend's 'Scotch Missed - The Lost Distilleries of Scotland' published in 1993:
The Gray family operated the [Adelphi] distillery throughout its existence, but around 1880 its ownership was acquired by Messrs A. Walker and Co, who already owned two big distilleries in Liverpool and Limerick respectively. Walkers injected new capital and expanded the works to include a large Coffey still to make grain spirit. In 1886, the Coffey still and four pot stills were all in full production, with an annual output of 516,000 gallons. It had ten 16,000 gallon washbacks, with two more under construction. Three wash charges held 45,000 gallons in all, the wash stills 6,000 gallons each and the spirit stills 4,500 gallons each. It had six steam engines - the largest massive brute of 80 horse power - and six boilers ranging in size up to 28 by nine feet in diameter. The whole was dominated by huge circular chimney with a flared top.
Unlikely as it seems. Loch Katrine Adelphi was one of the first victims of Edwardian rationalisation after the late-Victorian boom. It was bought by DCL in 1902 and between then and 1907 distilling ceased. Its history since then is vague, but the distillery buildings were not in fact demolished until 1968-70, with the chimney coming down in 1971. The bonded warehouses stayed in use for many years, though they too are now gone and indeed Inverkip Street itself is no more.