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Speyside Distillery marks anniversary of Byron's marriage with limited edition release

Published:  10 December, 2015

Speyside Distillery is marking the 200th anniversary of Lord Byron's marriage with the launch of a new limited edition whisky.

Byron is famous for his poetry and contribution to Greek independence, but infamous for his sexual appetite and proclivitities.

At the wedding, Byron is said to have served Spey whisky provided by Harvey's of Edinburgh.

He also sent a cask to George III to mark the occasion.

The Harvey family now owns the Speyside Distillery, and John Harvey McDonough, its chief executive, is part of the family's eleventh generation in the business.

Speyside's Byron's Choice has been aged in a port cask. The release is limited to 1,200 bottles.

McDonough said: "It is a fascinating part of our history and one of which we are incredibly proud.

"It is understood that when Lord Byron wed at Seaham Hall in Northumberland, a cask of Spey whisky was sent down to Kew Palace in London as a gift for the king.

"A replica of the cask remains in Seaham Hall, where Spey has a mini museum in the cellar.

Two centuries have passed, but we are still making Spey whisky in the same time-honoured traditional ways and we are continuing to create very desirable drams."

The Speyside Distillery was founded in the 1950s by George Christie, but production did not start until 1990.

It was bought by Harvey's in 2012.

Lord Byron was born in London but spent his childhood in Aberdeen where he attended the grammar school before being sent to Harrow.

His marriage to Annabelle was an unhappy him. He had long been rumoured to be having an affair with his half-sister, Augusta Leigh prior to the marriage.

Annabelle left Lord Byron in January 1816 and began the process of legal separation.

Byron left the UK three months later after signing the papers to end the marriage. He never returned.

Their daughter, Ada Lovelace, born in December 1815, was a mathematician whose work with Charles Babbage was instrumental in the development of the first computers.