Archaeologists from the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) are discovering the secrets of Speyside malt at the old site of The Glenlivet Distillery in Upper Drumin (pictured right), as part of the ‘Pioneering Spirit’ project, a partnership between NTS and The Glenlivet.
Originally a farm, the site was converted to a distillery by The Glenlivet’s founder George Smith in 1824, after the 1823 Excise Act made licensed production of whisky possible. Previously, George, like many others, had been making whisky illegally, smuggling it to his customers. Besides two old mill dams, there are no above-ground remains of the distillery, but excavations have revealed the floor of the old building, as well as fragments of bottle glass and ceramics.
‘This is where the illicit production of whisky… and the transition towards larger-scale industrial production meet,’ said Derek Alexander, Head of Archaeology for NTS.