Continuing with Brora & Clynelish Week, we thought we would show you one of the fantastic Clynelish expressions that we have available on our shop.
This Clynelish 12 Year Old 70 Proof was bottled by Ainslie & Heilbron, the same company that bottled the most expensive Clynelish bottle ever sold at auction – the Clynelish 12 Year Old 1950s/60s Spring Cap.
History of Ainslie & Heilbron
Ainslie & Heilbron dates back to 1868, when James Ainslie & Co was formed as a wine & spirits in Edinburgh. The company purchased Clynelish distillery in 1896, before completely rebuilding the distillery. However, like many other companies, James Ainslie & Co suffered during the Pattison crash, and narrowly avoided bankruptcy in the early 20th century by selling Clynelish to DCL and James Risk, who each took half a share.
In 1913, the company merged with Walter Baillie & Sons, Robertson Brothers, and John Gillon & Co. The resulting company was named Ainslie, Baillie & Co. of Leith.
In 1921, Robert Ainslie (the son of James Ainslie) retired. The company was liquidated and taken over by James Calder who merged the company with David Heilbron Ltd., and Colville Greenlees & Co to form Ainslie & Heilbron Ltd.
1925 saw a series of mergers that meant that Ainslie & Heilbron Ltd became part of DCL.
Therefore, this bottling is somewhat nostalgic – a visit by Ainslie & Heilbron Ltd to the distillery that they used to own.
A Brora Or Clynelish Bottling?
Another interesting fact about this bottle is that there is a good chance that the whisky in this bottle isn’t Clynelish at all – it is Brora.
Although there is no vintage statement on this bottle, we do know that it was distilled sometime in the 1950s, when Clynelish B was still Clynelish. However, in 1968, a new distillery was built alongside Clynelish, named Clynelish A. This distillery is the one that we know as Clynelish distillery today. Clynelish B , after a brief closure, became Brora in 1969 until its closure in 1983.
As such, there is more to this bottle than meets the eye.
If you would like to own this piece of Brora/Clynelish history, you can purchase this bottle on our online shop.