Glenglassaugh Distillery stands at the east end of Sandend bay approximately two miles to the west of Portsoy. It was here on the banks of the Glassaugh burn and in an area known to have been previously favoured by illicit distillers that local entrepreneur and businessman James Moir built the distillery in 1875. He quickly established a reputation for making a quality whisky and the company prospered.
Following the death of James Moir the ownership passed to his two nephews who set about increasing production as the quality of the whisky became well known. However following the unexpected death of one of the nephews in 1892, the distillery was sold to Robertson & Baxter who had been a long standing customer. Robertson and Baxter immediately sold the distillery to the Highland Distilleries Company.
The distillery gained a growing reputation for producing high quality malt whisky and output grew but following a downturn in the industry the distillery was closed in 1907. Some use was made of some of the buildings but the distillation equipment remained silent.
In 1959 a new distillery building was built adjacent to one of the original malting buildings, on top of the cliffs with excellent views over the Moray Firth. Production was re-started in 1960 and the distillery continued to operate until 1986 when the company decided to mothball it and expand some of their other operations to fund their growing blended whisky customer requirements. The equipment and buildings were maintained by the warehousing team who were required to look after the large number of casks which were still being stored on site.
The distillery remained silent but relatively untouched since then, until on the 29th of February 2008 it was bought by the newly formed Glenglassaugh Distillery Company. During the next few months around £1.0m was spent refurbishing the distillery and on 25th November 2008 Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond officially re-opened the distillery. On 4th December of that year the first of the new spirit ran from the stills and this was filled into cask on 16th December.
In 2013, Glenglassaugh Distillery was purchased by The BenRiach Distillery Company Ltd.