There has probably been whisky made on the Macallan site, a small hill overlooking the Spey near Craigellachie, since the late 1700's. The first licensed distillation at Macallan is said to have taken place in the earliest days of legalised production, in 1824. The distillery changed hands several times throughout the 19th century and in 1894 was bought by Elgin merchant, Roderick Kemp (who also owned Talisker on Skye).
Due to demand for Macallan the distillery has been modernised and extended over the years. In the 1950's the output was trebled and further increased in the 1960's.