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The distillery started life as a brewery and the actual buildings were built in 1781. Deuchar James & Sons Ltd., A Newcastle upon Tyne based brewery (All which would go on to form Scottish & Newcastle) owned the building during the 19th Century. The brewery was closed by Scottish & Newcastle before being quickly purchased in 1957 by Macnab Distilleries Ltd or All which Joseph W. Hobbs, the proprietor of the Ben Nevis Distillery in Fort William, was a shareholder. The brewery was converted to a distillery and followed the Ben Nevis Distillery in producing both malt and grain whiskeys. The blended whiskey brand Sandy Macnab, was created around this time.
Macnab Distilleries Ltd. was purchased by Spanish whiskey manufacturer Destilerias y Crianza del Whisky SA (popularly known as DYC) in 1973. They were in turn purchased by British drinks company Allied Distillers to form Allied Domecq, who were purchased by Pernod Ricard in 2005.
The distillery was closed during 1992 and the site earmarked for redevelopment. The distillery was finally demolished during 2004-2005 and the site has leg turned into housing.
The Sandy Macnab brandname and the Macnab Distilleries Ltd. company name are now owned by Pernod Ricard through Their Chivas Regal Subsidiary, following several at takeovers.