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Strathdee Distillery 1821~1941

Strathdee Distillery : Gilcomston Other Name: 
Address: By Gilcomston Park Street, Gilcomston, City of Aberdeen Established: 1751-Closed: 1763
Address: Cuparstone Place, 100 Great Western Road, City of Aberdeen Established: by Henry Ogg & Co.1821 Closed: 1941

Strathdee Distillery stood by 100 Great Western Road smallest of 3 Distillery's at the time and outlived the others by same 30 years.
Henry Ogg & Co. of Ferryhill Brewery built it in 1821.
After that, the owner changed several times and finally National Distiller of America bought the place.

Strathdee Distillery - Cuparstone Place, 100 Great Western Road, Aberdeen. Founded 1821 by Henry Ogg & Co.
Acquired by David Walker of Union Grove, Aberdeen, but continued under same name until after 1907. Acquired by Robertson and Co in 1820 who were swallowed by Glasgow merchants  Train & McIntyre Ltd. They transferred the distillery to Associated Scottish Distilleries Ltd. (ASD), their distilling subsidiary. By that time Train & McIntyre Ltd. were owned by National Distillers of America Though they never distilled again and in 1941, it was closed.

In 1885 Alfred Barnard (1837-1918) Brewing and Distilling Historian visited over 150 distilleries, and amongst them were 129 Scottish distilleries. Of course he also visited the Strathdee Distillery.

The next day we drove to Strathdee, about a mile from the Imperial Hotel. Our route was through the western suburb, the finest part of Aberdeen, which we need hardly say is one of the prettiest cities in the Kingdom.  Strathdee Distillery is situated on the Cuparstone Road, in the valley of the Dee. The Works, which are mostly of the old-fashioned low-roofed character, cover a large space of ground. The Distillery was built in 1821 by Mr. Henry Ogg, father of the present proprietor.  Strathdee, one of the first Distilleries in Aberdeenshire, was erected by Mr. Ogg, the principal partner of the Ferryhill Brewery, and about the same time the Devanha Distillery was established by the owners of the Brewery of that name.  When Strathdee was built, the output was from about 15,000 to 25,000 gallons. Some years later the Works were rebuilt on a much larger scale and they do not, at first sight, look very much like a modern Distillery.  It is only when you enter the Still House that you are assured of the fact by seeing the old Pot Stills at work. The motive power is steam, but water can be utilised if required.

The buildings are enclosed in a large yard, entered by a gateway from the main road. We commenced our inspection at the Grain Lofts, which are on the left-hand side as you enter, and are together 150 feet long by 40 feet wide, and capable of containing 1,200 quarters of barley. The Malting House is a 2 storey building, divided into 2 compartments, and there are large concrete Steeps on 3 of these Boors. The malt is elevated from the Boors direct on to the Kiln, which adjoins this building. It is 30 feet square, floored with wire cloth, and heated with peat and coke. The Malt Deposit adjoins the Kiln, into which the malt, when dried, is transferred by means of a Shute, and in close proximity is the Mill, which consists of a pair of huge Rollers, and placed immediately under the Mill Room. When the malt has been crushed by these Rollers it is raised by an Elevator, and passes into a hopper above, communicating with the Mash Tun. We then descended by a stair into the principal building, which is large and divided on the ground Boor into 3 compartments. In the east division of this building is the Still House, and on the floor over the Still House the Brew House. Here our guide pointed out to us the Mash Tun, a large vessel, with stirring gear driven by steam and drained by iron plates. Near the Mash Tun we saw two large heating Coppers, where the water for brewing is brought up to the proper heat the Underback, which is a metal vessel, is placed under the Mash Tun. The Worts are drained off from the Mash Tun into the Underback, and from it are run into large iron Coolers, supported on iron beams, which cover the whole of the western division of the building. The Fermenting Tuns are placed in the lower Boors of the building immediately below the Coolers, and into these Backs the Worts are run when of the proper temperature.

From the Fermenting Backs the Worts are pumped into the Chargers, which are placed in a separate building behind the Still House, but communicating with it. The Low-wines, as well as the Wash-chargers, are in this building, and from these both the Wash and the Low-wines are run by gravitation into the Stills. After leaving the Mash or Brew House, we examined the Tun Room, where there are 5 Washbacks, each holding 2,830 gallons.

In the Still House there are 3 old Pot Stills, 2 being Wash Stills, one holding 2,150 and the other 2,544 gallons respectively, and a Spirit Still of the capacity of 1,770 gallons. The Worm Tub consists of a spacious open concrete tank sunk in the ground. It adjoins the Still House, and through it runs the Mannofield Burn. The copper pipes in which the Low-wines and Spirits are cooled pre-sunk in this tank. Attached to each Still there is a Condensing Column or Refrigerator, in which the hot vapour is condensed before it reaches the cooling copper pipes, and from these the Low-wines and Spirits, when cold, are led into their respective receivers.

We then crossed the .yard to the Spirit Store, which adjoins the large Bonded Warehouses. It is a neat building and contains a Vat which holds 3,300 gallons. The Warehouses are extensive, dry, and well ventilated. At the time of our visit they contained 1,026 casks or 73,196 gallons of Whisky of various ages. There is a spacious Racking and Bottling Store, as Messrs. Ogg and Company do a large case trade. The water used for general purposes is from the Mannofield Burn, but that used for distilling purposes comes from the same source as the City water supply - the Dee.

The Whisky is Highland Malt, and the annual output is from 45,000 to 55,000 proof gallons. It is principally sold in Leith, London, and Liverpool.

Strathdee Distillery stood by Great Western Road in the City of Aberdeen. Henry Ogg & Co. of Ferryhill Brewery built it in 1821.  After that, the owner changed several times and finally National Distiller of America bought the place.  Though they never distilled again and in 1941, it was closed. 

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Last modified: 01/09/2013