One of only six dedicated grain distilleries in Scotland, the North British distillery was founded in 1885 by Andrew Usher, William Sanderson, James Watson and John Crabbie. It has a noble history, and the four founders built the distillery in a bid to challenge the monopoly the Distillers Company Ltd. had over the supply of grain whisky.
Production began in 1887 from a single Coffey still, though within three years the capacity had doubled to three million gallons a year. For a period, North British was the largest grain distillery in Scotland. Ironically, a merger between DCL and IDV in 1997 resulted in North British being jointly run by the company which it has first set up to oppose. Awkward… whisky from North British appears in a few famous blends such as Johnnie Walker Black Label, J&B Rare, The Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark.
In 2018, the first distillery bottling of North British single grain was released in collaboration with Douglas Laing.