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Wolfburn distillery

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Title: Wolfburn distillery  
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Subject: Glen Scotia distillery, Finnieston distillery, Glenury distillery, Millburn distillery, Parkmore distillery
Collection: Distilleries in Scotland
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Wolfburn distillery

Wolfburn distillery
Region: Highland
Location Thurso, Caithness
Founded 1822 (closed circa 1877 - reopened 2013)
Status Operational
Water source Wolf Burn
Number of stills 1 wash
1 spirit
Capacity 115,000 litres
Cask type(s) American Oak Bourbon
Oak Quarter Cask
Bourbon Hogsheads
Oloroso sherry

Wolfburn distillery is a Scotch whisky distillery in Thurso, Caithness, Scotland. After ceasing production in the 1850s it reopened in 2013.


  • History 1
  • Revival 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Wolfburn distillery was founded just to west of the town of Thurso, Caithness,[1] in 1821[2] by William Smith.[3] The distillery was of considerable size for its day and ran as a successful commercial enterprise for several decades, being handed down through several generations of the Smith family.[4] It is thought to have ceased production during the 1850s, although the exact date is a matter of debate. The distillery appears on the first Ordnance Survey map of the area, dated 1872, marked as a ruin. The reasons for its demise are unclear - very little remains of the original distillery and there are no known photographs. However, records of its annual production volumes of whisky can be found in tax returns, which show it producing 28,056 “Total Gallons of Proof Spirit” during 1826[5] (roughly 125,000 litres) – making it the biggest distillery in Caithness at the time.


In 2012 a private consortium gained approval from the Caithness planning authorities to build a new Wolfburn distillery in Henderson Park, Thurso.[6][7][8] The new distillery is situated approximately 350m from the site of the old one and draws its water from the Wolf Burn (stream) from whence it gets its name. The reinvented Wolfburn site consists of three buildings: the distillery itself and two warehouses for the laying down of casks. Local fabricators Forsyths were contracted to install the distillery plant and equipment. Wolfburn is the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland and produces single malt Scotch whisky. Production commenced in early 2013.[9]

See also


  1. ^ Farrell, S (2005w) 'Pennylands, Thurso, Highland (Thurso parish), watching brief', Discovery Excav Scot, vol.6 Page(s): 89
  2. ^ List of Distilleries in Date order of Foundation (The University of Edinburgh)
  3. ^ Wolfburn Distillery on The Whisky Portal
  4. ^ Site Record for Wolf Burn Wolfburn Distillery, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland
  5. ^ House of Commons Papers, volume 34
  6. ^ Bid to revive Thurso distillery after 135-year gap
  7. ^ Caithness planning authorities decision notice
  8. ^ North distillery revival on cards
  9. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • Thurso distillery to re-open after more than a century
  • Wolf Burn Distillery history
  • 1877 Ordnance survey map
  • Canmore Mapping showing details for Wolf Burn (ND16NW 83)
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