The Distillery

The Location

Thurso is the most northerly town on the British mainland with records dating back to Viking times, when it was under Norse Orcadian rule and a major gateway to Scandinavia and the Northern Isles. The area is fringed to the north and east by dramatic coastal scenery and is home to internationally important colonies of sea birds.

Thurso Bay and the distillery overlook the turbulent waters of the Pentland Firth towards the imposing cliffs of the Orcadian Island of Hoy – on a clear day the Old Man of Hoy can be seen in the far distance. The Thurso area was inhabited long before the Vikings arrived to give it its name.

First and last whisky distillery on the Scottish mainland

Overlooking the Pentland Firth

The flow country...

The Flow Country covers much of Caithness and has done so since the end of the last ice age.

It is an ancient and almost unique environment, the largest expanse of blanket peat bog in Europe, perhaps the entire world.

Rebuilding Wolfburn

In May 2011 one of our team went to locate the site of the old Wolfburn Distillery in Thurso, Caithness. After 150 years of neglect what we found was a barely discernible pile of stones, but one thing remained from the yesteryears of Wolfburn distillery; the water. The cold clear waters that fed the mash tun and stills all those years ago were still flowing just as they always had, and if the Wolf Burn was still there then we reckoned the whisky could be too.

A short walk downstream from the old site we found a small flat piece of land carpeted with thistles. We could take just a little of the water each day and once again turn it into whisky. The purchase of the land was finalized in May 2012 and the first ground was broken a few months later in early August. Things were on the move, plans were being drawn up, equipment was being sourced from far and wide and by the end of September the structures of the new buildings were beginning to take shape.

Read more about the Wolfburn story

Closed for over 150 years see how Wolfburn was brought back to life.

More...

Making Wolfburn

Wolfburn’s smooth and warming flavour stems from the unhurried way in which the spirit is made. Long fermentation is followed by gentle distillation, before the spirit is laid down in the best quality oak casks. Our warehouses are beautifully dark and cool, providing the perfect environment for the spirit to mature into world-class single malt whisky.

Our master craftsmen fashion their whisky the same way it was always made: by hand, using only the finest ingredients, and without haste.

Shane Fraser signature
Distillery Manager

The Process

Designed from the ground up to be efficient and at the same time traditional, Wolfburn Distillery has no automation and from milling through to bottling everything is done on site by hand with care and attention.

18 tonnes malt bins x2

Water tank holds 57,000 litres of natural spring water

Three washbacks each with 5,500 litre capacity

It takes 6 hours for a full mash

Stills produce 3,500 litres of spirit per week

To see the full infographic of how we make spirit at Wolfburn...

Enquire about a tour of the distillery

To experience Wolfburn first hand, why not visit Scotland's first and last distillery for a tour.

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