Our History

The history of whisky is intertwined with our family tree. Fortuitously, two whisky-loving families, the Walkers and the Morrisons, married together in the mid 1900s. Skills and knowledge were passed down through generations, forming the company as we know it today.

1644

Battle-torn Britain imposes excise duty on aqua vitae, starting a long tradition of escapades with excisemen. One such man in the 1820s was the bard, Robert Burns. His home town, Kirkoswald, is our home today.

Robert Burns

1811

James Sword & Son Ltd is established. The company later creates the brand of Bank Note among others.

Bank Note Overview

1837

Andrew Dewar Rattray is born in Busby near Glasgow, the son of a Calico Printer.

1868

Andrew Dewar Rattray sets up shop as a grocer in Glasgow, selling wine and olive oils from Europe, dark rums from Jamaica… and Scottish whisky.

Dumbarton Road Glasgow

1890

Stronachie distillery was built in the remote Ochil Mountains in Perthshire by Alexander & MacDonald.

Stronachie Established

Andrew Dewar Rattray develops a very successful distribution network. For many years he sells whisky from famous Highland Malt Distilleries including Stronachie to merchants, publicans and Glasgow’s blending houses.

1910

Andrew Dewar Rattray passes away, aged 73.

1916

‘Immature Spirits Act’ imposes a new requirement for whisky – a minimum three-year maturation before bottling. This is still in place today.

Spirits Act

1926

Stanley P. Morrison, the father of our Chairman, goes to work for William Walker - an enterprising whisky broker active in the blending, bottling and distribution of whisky since the mid 1800s.

Stanley P Morrison

1928

Stronachie Distillery, having succeeded in producing a fine spirit for around 30 years, is forced to close. Like many other distilleries at that time, soaring coal and grain prices forced it to cease production.

Stronachie Distillery 1904

1938

Following the economic disasters of the 1920s, the company A. Dewar Rattray is sold to William Walker & Co.

William Walker

1939

Stanley P. Morrison marries Elizabeth Walker, the daughter of William Walker.

Despite rationing during World War II, William Walker & Co. continues to keep bars flowing with whisky, supplying the West of Scotland licensed trade. This continued until 1949, when Walker passed away.

1949

A. D. Rattray is inherited by Mrs W. E. Bruce, nee Walker… the sister of Elizabeth Walker Morrison and daughter of William Walker.

Account Books

1951

Stanley P. Morrison, the father of our Chairman, forms the whisky brokerage company Stanley P. Morrison Ltd. Whisky Brokers in Glasgow.

Stanley P Morrison 2

1963

Stanley P Morrison Ltd purchase Sherriff’s Bowmore Islay Distillery

Bowmore Distillery

1970

Stanley P Morrison Ltd purchase Glen Garioch Highland Distillery

1982

Stanley P Morrison Ltd changes name to Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd

1984

Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd purchase Auchentoshan Lowland Distillery

1989

Suntory, a Japanese brewing and distilling company, acquire a stake in Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd. and later assume full ownership.

Morrison Bowmore Distillers continued to grow with the Morrison family at the helm becoming a hugely successful whisky brokerage company and latterly developing a branded business as interest in Single Malts grew.

1993

Our chairman Stanley Walker Morrison, the son of Stanley P. Morrison, acquires A. D. Rattray Ltd from his aunt, Mrs W. E. Bruce (nee Walker).

Stanley W Morrison

2002

The resurgence of A. D. Rattray Ltd begins under the guidance of Stanley Walker Morrison with the purchase of an original bottle of Stronachie whisky at auction. This leads to the revival of this long lost whisky brand. 12 Year Old Stronachie is bottled.

Stronachie 12 Year Old

2004

Stanley Walker Morrison bottles a selection of his own handpicked casks of whiskies for release to the market. The A. D. Rattray Cask Collection is born.

Cask Collection Older Style

2011

The family opens the A. D. Rattray Whisky Experience and Shop in the old school of Kirkoswald, Ayrshire and moves the company HQ to the same location.

A D Rattray's Whisky Experience

2017

The Morrisons’ adventures in whisky continue with the opening of The Clydeside Distillery in Glasgow, a sister company.

Clydeside Distillery

2018

A. D. Rattray celebrates 150 years of bringing whisky to the world.

Celebrating 150 Years

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