Sandbank distillery

Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

This 19th century distillery stood in the village of Sandbank on the west side of Holy Loch, two to three miles north of Dunoon, between the main (A815) road and the shore. Maps show a small burn flowing into the loch at that point.

  • Region
  • Production type
    Single malt
  • Distillery Status

Sandbank History

Sandbank distillery was first licensed to Dugald MacKinley in 1825. He only distilled for five years before closing the operation down in 1833.

The site may have been relatively unexciting as a distillery, but the buildings went on to find fame in boating circles.

In 1876 Alexander Robertson founded a boatyard at Sandbank – Robertson’s Yard – that later incorporated the old distillery buildings. Robertson’s became one of the most famous racing yacht builders in Britain, producing more than 500 yachts over nine decades, as well as boats for the Admiralty.

Alexander Robertson died in 1937, and the family sold up in 1965. However, the boatyard at Sandbank is still operated today by Leisure Ecosse.


  • 1825 Dugald MacKinley opens Sandbank distillery
  • 1833 The distillery closes
  • 1879 Alexander Robertson purchases the old Sandbank distillery and transforms it into a yacht workshop


Argyll and Bute
United Kingdom

See also

  • Dunoon Dunoon Dunoon Distillery


    An early 19th century distillery on the Cowal peninsula.

  • Altduanalt Altduanalt Altduanalt Distillery


    A short-lived distillery in the village of Rhu, on the east shore of Gareloch.

  • Ardincaple Ardincaple Ardincaple Distillery


    Ardincaple was a short-lived distillery on the Island of Seil, south of Oban.

  • Babute Babute Babute Distillery


    One of many lost distilleries in Argyll that was operational briefly in the 18th century.

Scroll To Top