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Ian MacLeod Distillers

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Ian MacLeod Distillers, Ltd. is an independent, family-owned, Scottish concern which produces Scotch whisky and other spirits. Ian MacLeod is based in Broxburn, Scotland and was founded by Leonard Russell, Snr. in 1933. They own three single malt whisky distilleries: Glengoyne, Tamdhu, and Rosebank. They also produce a number of other distilled spirits including Edinburgh Gin and Smokehead Islay Whisky. They are the 15th largest scotch whisky producers[1] and bottle in excess of 15 million bottles of spirits per year.[2]

The company is a member of the Scotch Whisky Association.[3]


Ian MacLeod traces its roots to the whisky brokerage founded in October 1933 by Leonard Russell, Snr.[4] The Russell Brokers firm acquired Ian MacLeod & Co., Ltd. in March 1963 followed in May 1963 by the purchase of Isle of Skye Blended Whisky.[5] In March 1968 the King Robert II line of spirits was acquired.[2]

In May 1981 Ian MacLeod, in conjunction with J & G Grant, opened Broxburn Bottlers, Ltd.[6]

In September 1990 Ian MacLeod acquired London Hill Gin, a brand that dates back to 1785. In May 1996 Watson's Rums were brought on board and in September 1998 Hedges & Butler Blended Scotch and Wincarnis Tonic Wines were added to the portfolio.[7][2]

The company officially became Ian MacLeod Distillers with the acquisition of the Glengoyne Distillery in April 2003.[8] Glengoyne along with Langs Blended Whisky were purchased from Highland Distillers[9]. In January 2006 Smokehead Islay Whisky was introduced by the company.[5]

In June 2011 MacLeod added another mothballed distillery from Highland Distiller, Tamdhu Distillery in Speyside.[10] The brand was re-launched in in May 2013 at the Speyside Whisky Festival.[11] In September 2016 Spencerfield Spirits was acquired, bringing Edinburgh Gin, Pig's Nose, Sheep Dip and The Feathery Scotch Whiskies into the fold.[12] In October 2017 MacLeod bought the trademark for Rosebank Distillery from Diageo and the distillery site from Scottish Canals with the intention of reopening the distillery.[13]


  • Glengoyne Distillery (founded 1833)[14]
  • Tamdhu Distillery (founded 1896)[10]
  • Rosebank Distillery (founded 1840)[15]


Core brands[edit]

  • Glengoyne Highland single malt Scotch whisky
  • Tamdhu Speyside single malt Scotch whisky
  • Smokehead Islay single malt Scotch whisky[16]
  • King Robert II blended Scotch whisky
  • Isle of Skye blended Scotch whisky
  • Edinburgh Gin


  1. "Top 15 Scotch whisky companies | WhiskyInvestDirect".
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Ian Macleod Distillers".
  3. "Scotch Whisky Association - Home".
  4. Gabanyi, Stefan (1996). Whisk(e)y. Abbeville Press Publishers. p. 289. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Ian Macleod Distillers | Scotch Whisky".
  6. "Broxburn Bottlers Limited".
  7. "Wincarnis".
  8. "Glengoyne - Scotch malt whisky distillery profile".
  9. "Lang Brothers | Scotch Whisky".
  10. 10.0 10.1 Jackson, Michael (2015). The Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch. Dorling Kidersley Limitied. p. 333. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  11. "Top 10 spirit launches in May".
  12. "Ian Macleod Distillers purchases Edinburgh Gin". 2016-09-13.
  13. "Ian Macleod Distillers announce they are set to revive one of Scotland's most famous 'lost' lowland distilleries". 2017-10-10.
  14. Gabanyi, Stefan (1996). Whisk(e)y. Abbeville Press Publishers. p. 131. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  15. Murray, Jim (2015). Jim Murray's Whiskey Bible 2016. Whitman Publishing LLC. p. 187. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  16. https://www.just-drinks.com/news/ian-macleod-distillers-targets-five-fold-smokehead-increase-as-new-stock-opens-up_id125885.aspx/

External links[edit]

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