Founded in 1826, the Adelphi Distillery is now Scotland’s most acclaimed independent bottler of single casks of rare malt whisky.
In 1993, The great-grandson of Archibald Walker, Jamie, revived the Adelphi name as an independent bottler. Jamie was determined not to sacrifice quality for volume, and he was equally adamant that this should be continued when he sold the company in 2004.
Under new ownership, Adelphi continues to bottle straight from the finest casks without colouring or chill filtration.
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.
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).
Keith Falconer and his neighbour in Argyll, Donald Houston, had approached Jamie on a recommendation, to buy a hogshead of whisky. In fact, they were so impressed that they ended up buying the whole company. After 25 years of working as a chartered accountant and fund manager, Keith was looking for a more entrepreneurial kind of challenge. Donald, like Keith, had backed off from fulltime involvement in his global engineering business, and was equally excited to be involved in the whisky trade.
The team was rounded off by Alex Bruce and his sister, Antonia: whisky is in the blood. Their mother, an Usher, is a direct descendant of Andrew Usher who is credited with pioneering blended whisky, and their 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 has trained with Remy Martin and J&B, and latterly headed up a new office for Friarwood Fine Wines in Scotland. Antonia joined Adelphi in 2009 afer several years with Pol Roger UK; Liz Macdonald: Liz is former P.A. to the Beatles, and joined Adelphi in 2004 as Company Secretary; Gordon Hamilton: Gordon came on board in August 2010 to implement and run the new warehouse and bottling facility in Fife. With over 25 years of experience at Glenmorangie, he has hit the ground running.
We have recently welcomed Graeme Bowie in the role of Distillery Manager for our new Ardnamurchan project. Graeme 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; and in Fife, we have been joined by Luisa Stucchi and Lewis Hamilton. Luisa brings a wealth of experience in PR, marketing and administration, and Lewis has already tamed the bottling machine.
Graeme Bowie, Ardnamurchan Distillery Manager
Adelphi was originally established by the Gray brothers, Charles and David, in 1826 on what had been a two-acre orchard. It stood just south of the Clyde's Victoria Bridge on the northern edge of the Gorbals.
The Gray family operated the 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.
- extract from Brian Townsend's 'Scotch Missed - The Lost Distilleries of Scotland' published in 1993.