The history of this famous brand dates back to 1809. Then, in the small Scottish village of Brotnou, the boy George appeared in the family of a local farmer named Ballantyne. Fate has prepared him to become the creator of one of the most famous scotch on the planet. The economy was not rich, so George often starved. But the father managed to give him a good initial education, judging that this is the most important. At age 13, George left his father’s house and went to Edinburgh. There he became a pupil of a grocer. Sam Ballantyne later recalled that such a step in life helped him to get a profession and understand the further in life to deal with.


After five years of work, having received good experience and recommendations, ambitious George opened his own store in a rented room. The young Ballantyne had a good business grasp, and his affairs immediately went well. After a couple of years he was already cramped in the same place, he began to rent a bigger store. The main product in his store was whiskey. Dreams began to gradually acquire material features. The number of clients grew, as did the assortment of goods. George himself constantly thought how to increase his turnover.

In 1846 he decided to deliver his goods by train, because the railway had just reached Edinburgh. This allowed a sharp increase in the sales area. From his competitors Ballantyne differed in that everything from packaging to delivery, he did to the highest level. Yes, it was more expensive for clients, but people were attracted by such attention and respect for them. Those who were willing to pay for quality, it turned out to be a lot. In 10 years after the beginning of business at Баллантайна in warehouses was already up to 10 thousand liters of whiskey. That put him in the ranks of reliable suppliers, he was no longer considered a proxy dealer.

George grew up. On the sign of the store in Edinburgh was already listed “George Ballantyne and son.” In 1867 the head of the family realized that he could leave the elder heir, Archibald, in the management of the store. George himself goes to Glasgow, where he opens a new outlet. In 1869, Ballantyne begins a new business – blending whiskey on its own recipe. Soon the owner opens a whole Scotch whiskey around Scotland.

The second son, George Jr., also entered the business. The companies of Ballantyne and their sons bought a warehouse and began selling their scotch. By 1880, the business had grown so much that the founder of the company withdrew from the business, passing it to his youngest son. At the same time, a large company was launched. The brand had something to be proud of – in stores one hundred thousand liters of whiskey had accumulated. In 1891, George Ballantyne died, but the business he had established continued to thrive, thanks to his son and grandson George. In 1895, the company received a license from the supplier of Her Royal Majesty and a certificate of quality.


In 1919-1920, the company was sold to its younger partners – Barkley and McKinley. The new owners wisely decided not to change the brand name. But they decided that it’s time to conquer new countries. Promising was the huge market of the United States. Just at that time, the “dry law” began to operate there. But, as it usually happens, the ban on alcohol only increased its popularity. Even those who had never been interested in drinking, now simply felt obliged to get themselves a bottle of whiskey illegally. Smugglers could not cope with the needs of the population in banned beverages!

James Barkley decided that it would be appropriate to take this opportunity. And even the illegality of business did not bother him, because there was a lot of money at stake! Barkley managed to create a whole trading network on the east coast of the United States. And although the customs officers knew about the fact of smuggling, they could not catch the violators. As a result, the Ballantine whiskey became cult for America, and after all it fell in love here even before the ban.And although most alcohol lovers were quite satisfied with cheap drinks of medium quality, there were always those connoisseurs who were ready to pay for a high-quality product. As a result, over a decade of “dry law”, Ballantine sales have grown significantly.

However, the company’s management was not entirely dependent on illegal deliveries. McKinley and Barkley constantly improved their production. In 1930, the trading house “Ballantines” struck everyone twice, presenting first a 17-year-old, and then a 30-year-old Legendary. Until that moment, no one produced so much whiskey. The quality of the drink was highly valued by the crowned individuals of Britain. In 1938, the trading house even granted its own coat of arms. It reflected all the stages of creating a strong drink. The coat of arms symbolized the quality of the Scotch tape “Ballantines”, as well as its truly Scottish origin. In the same year, 1938, the company built a huge factory in Dumbarton, which lasted until 2004.

Although whiskey was always considered to be exclusively a man’s drink, the company decided to destroy this stereotype. And this despite the fact that women usually use something not so strong and softer. The company offered in 1960 a completely non-classic drink. The 12-year-old variety had a honey-fruity taste, which aroused interest in this whiskey and in ladies. Since then blenders have continued their experiments with flavors, but a new taste appeared only in 1993. Then the light was seen by 21-year-old Ballantine’s, who “embodies the dreams and ambitions of the company’s founder, George Ballantyne.”

For several decades the brand was the main pride of the Allied Domecq concern, but with its collapse in 2005, the new owners were the French from Pernod Ricard. They acted very wisely, leaving the old name, preserving the quality. Most drink fans do not suspect that he is no longer Scottish. What, in fact, is the difference, if the quality remains the same?


Ball Ballantine’s whiskey was a favorite for many stars. You can remember the names of Ernest Hemingway, Audrey Hepburn. Ella Fitzgerald. It is believed that the drink is suitable for outstanding and bright people with good taste. Currently in the range of home whiskey 12 and 17-year-old aging, where the 21-year-old is more rare. Very rarely, and in small quantities, varieties of 30 and 40-year-old endurance come on sale and are immediately sold out by collectors. Although the most famous drink Billantine Finest does not specify exposure, it is known that it includes up to fifty components. And according to the fans of the brand, they are perfectly balanced.

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