In 1893, John Walker & Sons of Kilmarnock bought Annandale Distillery from John Sykes Gardner. At that time, they owned only one other distillery, Cardhu (Cardow) in Speyside. We speculate that John Walker & Sons acquired Annandale Distillery as a source of peated spirit, to supply their burgeoning Blended Scotch Whisky business. The expanding railway network would have made it relatively easy to transport barrels of peated whisky from Annan directly to Kilmarnock, where they once produced their world-famous Johnnie Walker whiskies.
John Walker & Sons also invested heavily in Annandale Distillery, renovating the current bonded warehouses turning them into unique two tier bonded warehouses. They also increased the capacity of the stillhouse chimney and commissioned the building of the famous Charles Doig designed pagoda roof.
Walker’s tenure at Annandale Distillery was interrupted by World War 1. The post-war economic recession, prohibition in the USA and the growing temperance movement in the UK, caused a huge downturn in Scotch Whisky consumption, forcing many distilleries to close, including Annandale Distillery. But this tale has a very happy ending. In 2007, David Thomson and Teresa Church bought the slumbering Annandale Distillery site, restored the beautiful buildings and reinstated whisky production using a modern plant designed by the late Dr Jim Swan.
Today, Annandale Distillery produces award-winning peated and unpeated Single Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky. To celebrate this and to honour the great whisky family’s tenure at Annandale Distillery, we’ve created Walker Unpeated & Peated Portfolio
See the casks selected for this portfolio below.