Auchentoshan, The Bladnoch and the Glenkinchie are the last of the working malt whisky distilleries in the Lowland area. A few scant remnants from over 215 stills once recorded as being operative in the Lowlands around the mid 18th. century.
There is one other which is mothballed at the moment - The Rosebank. Yet it was rumored last year that thieves have entered the building and ransacked the stills for the copper etc. The "Rose" was another Lowlander which used triple distilling and it is the memory of this dram which is encased deep in the hearts of malt lovers as "the dram that should never have been allowed to die". There are still a few expressions available but they are all entering into the realms of the collectable and carry a price to match.
Another still that survived until the turn of the 21st century is the Littlemill but despite ambitions to restart the still as a visitor attraction as of this moment nothing has come to fruition.
It is a great shame to have lost so many Lowland whiskies. They are lighter and more flowery than their northern counterparts. This was perhaps their undoing, coupled with the extra expense of distilling a third time, may have put investors off, in a malt whisky world heavily dependant on being readily accepted as dram to blend with grain alcohol for branded blends. Lighter spirits do not lend themselves to being the master blenders first choice.
The Auchentoshan, now owned by Suntory, is perhaps the most notable of our surviving Lowlanders, and still uses the triple distilling process traditionally favored by much of the area's whisky producers in the pre-war years; and of course widely used throughout Ireland. The expressions from the distillery are perfumed and flower fragrant, carried on a slightly oily, light spirit. Independent bottlings are rare but when kept for 16 to 25 years here is a dram that can become quite exquisite.
The Bladnoch is a little miracle of survival ever since Raymond Armstrong bought the derelict distillery as a proposed holiday home. Something magical conjured and Raymond returned the original still buildings back to their original purpose and stated distilling in 2000. We now have a splendid 10 year old at "Praise the Lord!" 46% vol, without artificial coloring and a host of other expressions at cask strength.
The Glenkinchie is one of the "Classic Malts" inspired firstly by United Distillers and now of course maintained by Diageo. Light and thin in texture the dram can carry grassy, citric and sometimes subtle spicy notes. Definitely an aperitif dram and this is where these delightful Lowland style malts hold their own - before dinner or around lunchtime.
Whisky Castle Gifts