James Allardice inherited Boynsmill Estate in 1800, but by 1802 was living at Cobairdy, where, although only the tenant of John Morison of Auchintoul, he lived very much the lifestyle of a laird and acquired the sobriquet of “Cobbie” as a result.
Charles Horne, in his work “The Kingdom of Forgue” wrote,
“Then, there was the Laird of Cobairdy, James Allardice was his name. He was a long-headed man, and he had a lot of good business qualities. He was not actually the Laird of Cobairdy, although he got that name, but the name he was known best by was “Cobbie.”
“Cobbie” was a very enterprising man. In 1826, James Allardice along with Robert Stuart, William Davidson, and John R. Thain founded The Glendronach Distilley on the estate of Boynsmill. James Allardes possessed the land, suitable buildings, and an adequate supply of water, which that could readily be used for distilling. James Allardice’s nephew Robert Davidson, an enterprising and inventive young chemist, saw opportunities in the distilling industry, and was already offering for sale fresh yeast and London Porter Yeast to supply to the new legal distillers. At that time, agricultural improvements were going on apace in Forgue and with barley growing already being undertaken locally, two capitalist farmers, James’s cousin Robert Stuart in Little Forgue, and John Richardson Thain in Drumblair were persuaded to join the enterprise. This enterprising group of gentlemen possessed the perfect blend of land, money, technical knowledge and business acumen to build and run a distillery. They named their enterprise from the “Dronac” burn, which flowed through the estate and set about to produce whisky.
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