Loch Lomond distillery

Highland Scotch Whisky

The original distillery held a set of pot stills with rectifying plates in their necks (also known as Lomond stills), allowing different flavour streams to be produced. Expansion in 1990 saw a second pair of the same design being installed, before the distillery installed two continuous stills three years later in which to make its own grain whisky. Two ‘traditional’ swan neck pot stills were added in 1998, before an additional continuous still, set up to produce grain whisky from a 100% malted barley mash, was installed in 2007. With the recent addition of two more Lomond stills, Loch Lomond has the capability to produce 11 different distillates for its whisky brands (not including the spirit coming from Glen Scotia). Wine yeasts have also been used to help create different flavours. In many ways it is more akin to a Japanese approach to distilling than a Scottish one.

As well as the High Commisisoner blend, Loch Lomond has produced a range of single malt brands, including Inchmurrin, Inchmoan, Inchfad, Old Rosdhu, Croftengea and Craiglodge. While all have been available as official and independent bottlings at one time or another, only a handful continue to be bottled as part of the distillery’s current range. 

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Loch Lomond History

A product of the 1960s distillery building boom, Loch Lomond was built in ’66 by a joint partnership between Duncan Thomas, the American owner of [now demolished] Littlemill, and Chicago-based Barton Brands. The American firm took full control in 1971, but closed it in 1984 when that boom turned to bust. It passed into the hands of Inver House the year after, before they flipped it to Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse Ltd in 1986. The firm added Glen Scotia to its portfolio in 1994.

Glen Catrine was the bottling and ageing arm of Bulloch & Co, a well-established blending and retail firm which owned the High Commissioner brand as well as, in time, Glen’s Vodka. Under Glen Catrine’s ownership, Loch Lomond grew to become the most flexible – and arguably the most innovative – distillery in Scotland. Its specialisation in the private label and export business however meant that its operations were never widely reported, or understood.

The firm was sold in 2014 for an undisclosed sum (believed to be in the tens of millions) to private equity firm Exponent whose new distilling division, Loch Lomond Group, is headed by former Diageo executives.

Timeline

  • 1966 Loch Lomond distillery is founded by Duncan Thomas and American company, Barton Brands
  • 1971 Barton Brands buys out Thomas and assumes full control
  • 1984 Loch Lomond is closed after demand slows
  • 1985 The distillery is sold to Inver House, which sells it onto Glen Catrine the following year
  • 1990 A second pair of straight neck pot stills are installed
  • 1993 Loch Lomond begins producing grain spirits with the installation of two column stills
  • 1997 A fire breaks out, destroying around 300,000 litres of whisky
  • 1998 Two ‘traditional’ swan neck stills are installed
  • 2005 The distillery releases Inchmoan, Craiglodge and Inchmurrin whiskies
  • 2007 A continuous still is installed in the malt plant, capable of producing grain spirit from a 100% malted barley mash
  • 2014 Glen Catrine is sold to private equity investment firm Exponent and operates under new division, Loch Lomond Group
  • 2016 An additional pair of straight neck pot stills are installed, along with three additional washbacks

Loch Lomond Facts

  • Blends contributed to i
    Loch Lomond, High Commissioner
  • Capacity (mlpa) i
    5 (malt)
    20 (grain)
  • Condenser Type i
    Shell and tube
  • Cook time i
    Flash cook
  • Distillation system i
    Column stills: Analyser/ rectifier
  • Fermentation Time i
    Minimum 70hrs (malt)
    60hrs (grain)
  • Filling Strength i
    64.5% (malt)
    69-70% (grain)
  • Grain type i
    Wheat
  • Grist Weight (t) i
    9.5
  • Heat Source i
    Steam coils
  • Malt Specification i
    Unpeated (47 weeks per year), 25ppm (2 weeks of the year), 50ppm (3 weeks of the year)
  • Malt Supplier i
    Boortmalt, Crisp
  • Malted barley % i
    10%
  • Mash Tun Type i
    Lauter
  • New-make Phenol Level i
    Unpeated
  • New-make Strength i
    65-85% (malt)
    94.2% (grain)
  • Number of columns i
    Three sets of analyser/ rectifiers
  • Single Malt Percentage i
    10%
  • Spirit Still Charge (l) i
    14,000
  • Spirit Still Shape i
    Various
  • Spirit Still Size (l) i
    16,000
  • Stills i
    11 (8 pot, 3 column)
  • Warehousing i
    Racked, palletised
  • Wash Still Charge (l) i
    22,000
  • Wash Still Shape i
    Various
  • Wash Still Size (l) i
    25,000
  • Washback Size (l) i
    10 x 25,000 (inside)
    11 x 50,000 (outside)
  • Washback Type i
    Stainless steel
  • Washbacks i
    21: 10 inside, 11 outside with warming jackets
  • Water Source i
    Borehole
  • Wort Clarity i
    Very clear
  • Yeast Type i
    Kerry m/mx, Mauri, Anchor

Owners

Parent company

Current owner

Previous owners

Contact

Address
Loch Lomond Distillery
Bowie Road
Lomond Industrial Estate
Alexandria
Dunbartonshire
G83 0TL
United Kingdom
Website
Visit Website
Phone
+44 1389 752781
Email
Send Email
Visitor Opening Hours
Not open to the public

Map

See also

  • Glen Scotia Glen Scotia Glen Scotia Distillery & brand

    Glen Scotia

    One of Scotland’s smallest distilleries.

  • Craiglodge Craiglodge Craiglodge Brand

    Craiglodge

    A medium peated single malt produced at Loch Lomond distillery and part of its discontinued Loch ...

  • Croftengea Croftengea Croftengea Brand

    Croftengea

    Heavily peated single malt Scotch produced at the multifaceted Loch Lomond distillery in Alexandria.

  • Dunglass Dunglass Dunglass Brand

    Dunglass

    A rarely bottled, experimental peated malt produced at the closed Lowlands Littlemill distillery.

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