BenRiach was established by John Duff in 1898, a stone's throw away from the Longmorn distillery which was also owned by Duff. These distilleries were joined by a private railway with a private steam locomotive called "the Puggy". In 1900 the distillery stopped production in the wake of the bankruptcy of Pattison's whisky, a major whisky purchaser. It was later reopened in 1965 by Glenlivet Distillers Ltd, changed hands a few times and in 2004 it was acquired by an independent consortium, the BenRiach Distillery Company Limited, which was owned by two South Africans and famous whisky-maker Billy Walker.
The lengthy closure of the distillery would have spelled the end for the distillery, however, its sister distillery, Longmorn, enjoyed sporadic periods of production and they sourced some of their malted barley from the floor maltings at BenRiach, keeping it alive during those "mothballed" years.