The Magical History of the Great Brora Distillery
John Risk disposes of his holding to D.C.L.
John Gillon & Company, Limited, another DCL subsidiary, worked in tandem with Ainslie & Heilbron.
      D.C.L. buys the rest of the shares from John Walker & Sons and transfers the ownership to its subsidiary Scottish Malt Distillers, Ltd (S.M.D.) – although I’m not sure SMD didn’t buy the shares from John Walker & Sons’ directly – but that’s not very important, is it? I’m not hundred percent sure either, that John Walker’s shares weren’t bought right in 1925, at the same time as Mr. Risk’s. The best sources diverge…
      The markets are low, there has been a depression, and Clynelish is closed in March. Coleburn, which has also been transfered to Scottish Malt Distillers, is still active.   
    In the D.C.L. Gazette dated July 1934, one can read: ‘It is unpleasant to record that the distillery has been silent throughout the past season, but as soon as the necessity for an increase in total production of Scottish Malt Distillers, Limited, arises this unit will again be in action. The sale of whisky to private individuals, although in a lesser degree than of old, is still popular. Apropos of this, it is deserving of attention that ‘Clynelish’ was favoured by the late Professor Saintsbury and is highly spoken of in his classic, Notes on a Cellar Book.The fame of Clynelish attracts many visitors who have discovered the charms of Brora both as a place of beauty and sport…
King William IV was a John Gillon brand and was distributed by Ainslie & Heilbron. Check the interesting back label for the USA, stating that the law of New York State required Scotch to be at least 4 years old (and not just 3). The month of bottling had to be mentionned (here January 1934). Another rather funny statement: the whisky's 'recipe' is the same as before the prohibition.  


Very interesting label using the high reputation of Glenlivet.
Ainslie's blend was exported even in Manchoukuo (China)
First classical 'white' label of a Clynelish Single Malt (eight years old).
Famous black label for Ainslie's Royal Edinburgh, here in a Spenish version.  

Both the 12yo and the Real McTavish will still be bottled until the very end of the 1970's. Here are the first pre-war versions.

Plenty of other labels from the 1930's here.
Clynelish is restarted in September.
    Clynelish shuts down in May, on account of wartime restrictions on the supply of barley to distillers. Some have written that it did distil during the war, but as John Lamond points out: ‘It would not have been possible for a distillery, such as Clynelish to operate illicitly, it has too high a profile and the local management, as a part of SMD, would not have risked their jobs, as it would have meant instant dismissal.