Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Stromness Distillery

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Malt whisky distillers, Stromness, Orkney

The date at which the distillery was established is disputed. 1817 is one possibility. Alfred Barnard recorded that it was built in 1828 by Hector Munn. The Macpherson Brothers, who operated the distillery towards the end of the 19th century, asserted in an advertisement in 1886 that it had been established in 1830.

Similarly, while the distillery was alternatively known as Man o' Hoy, it is not clear at what period it operated under this name or for how long. It was listed as Stromness in Slater's Directory in 1886. By the 1903 edition the Belfast distiller J and J McConnell Limited was listed as occupying the Man o' Hoy Distillery in Stromness. This followed the dissolution of the copartnery of Macpherson Brothers in 1900. The evidence of labels on the O.O. brand (Old Orkney) suggest that McConnells reverted to describing it as Stromness distillery, but what may have been its final directory entry in 1928 lists McConnell's Distillery Ltd at Man o'Hoy distillery.

Stromness was one of the smallest Scottish distilleries, with Barnard recording annual output of only 7,000 gallons.

The distillery closed in 1928 and was acquired by Booth's Distilleries Limited, but production was never resumed and the site was eventually redeveloped for local authority housing.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Slater's Royal National Commercial Directory of Scotland 1886
  • Alfred Barnard "The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom" (1887)
  • Edinburgh Gazette August 10 1900
  • Slater's Royal National Commercial Directory of Scotland 1903
  • Slater's Royal National Commercial Directory of Scotland 1928
  • The Scotsman 27 August 1929
  • https://scotchwhisky.com/magazine/features/26710/the-tenacity-of-orkney-s-early-whisky-makers/
  • Brian Townsend "Scotch Missed: The Original Guide to the Lost Distilleries of Scotland" (Fourth Edition 2015)