In 1821 William Smith founded a distillery on the outskirts of Thurso and named it Wolfburn after the watercourse it drew from, “burn” being the Scots word for stream or small river.
The distillery was constructed from hardy local Caithness flagstone and the remains of its foundations can still be seen today. Smith invested heavily in Wolfburn and it quickly became a significant producer of malt whisky – tax records from the early 19th Century show it being the largest distillery in Caithness. In 1826 its annual production was 28,056 “Total Gallons of Proof Spirt” – roughly 125,000 litres.
The new Wolfburn distillery building is just a short walk along the burn from the old site towards the sea.