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.
Battle-torn Britain imposes excise duty on aqua vitae, starting a long tradition of escapades with excisemen. One such man in the 1700s was the world famous bard, Robert Burns, who was born in nearby Alloway and educated in Kirkoswald, the village we call home.
James Sword & Son Ltd is established. The company later creates the brand of Bank Note among others.
Andrew Dewar Rattray is born in Busby near Glasgow, the son of a Calico Printer.
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.
Stronachie distillery was built in the remote Ochil Mountains in Perthshire by Alexander & MacDonald.
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.
Andrew Dewar Rattray passes away, aged 73.
‘Immature Spirits Act’ imposes a new requirement for whisky – a minimum three-year maturation before bottling. This is still in place today.
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.
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.
Following the economic disasters of the 1920s, the company A. Dewar Rattray is sold to William Walker & Co.
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.
A. D. Rattray is inherited by Mrs W. E. Bruce, nee Walker… the sister of Elizabeth Walker Morrison and daughter of William Walker.
Stanley P. Morrison, the father of our Chairman, forms the whisky brokerage company Stanley P. Morrison Ltd. Whisky Brokers in Glasgow.
Stanley P Morrison Ltd purchase Sherriff’s Bowmore Islay Distillery
Stanley P Morrison Ltd purchase Glen Garioch Highland Distillery
Stanley P Morrison Ltd changes name to Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd
Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd purchase Auchentoshan Lowland Distillery
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
The Morrisons’ adventures in whisky continue with the opening of The Clydeside Distillery in Glasgow, a sister company.
A. D. Rattray celebrates 150 years of bringing whisky to the world.