Starlaw distillery

Lowland Single Grain Scotch Whisky

La Martiniquaise designed Starlaw distillery to produce a light, easy-drinking whisky that not only matched the style of its Label 5 blend, but could also be easily traded for malt whisky from other distilleries. The distillery also has the ability to produce neutral grain spirit. The column stills were designed to show no high supporting steel work, which resulted in significant works to ensure they are supported at the foundation.

  • Region
  • Production type
    Single grain
  • Distillery Status

Starlaw History

Although the La Martiniquaise group claims to be France’s second-largest spirits group and is owner of two Scottish distilleries (among an extensive portfolio that also includes rhum and Port) it prefers to keep itself out of the glare of publicity.

In 1969 it launched Label 5, currently France’s No.2 blend (and the world’s ninth biggest Scotch) and in 2004 built a maturation, blending and bottling plant in Bathgate over 28 hectares to service the brand.

The move into production started in 2008 with the purchase of Glen Moray from Glenmorangie and with the widening of the Label 5 portfolio – there are now four variants – there was need to have greater control of the group’s grain requirements.

The plan to build Scotland’s first new green-field grain distillery for 40 years started in 2007 and the project was completed three years later. With a capacity of 25 million litres, the plant is fully integrated within the firm’s existing facility.

Starlaw produces both grain and grain neural spirit (the latter for vodka). The columns have been designed to be flexible allowing different fractions to be withdrawn and copper interaction increased thereby giving the group’s blenders a wider range of flavours to work with.

In 2015 Starlaw is due to build a further four maturation cellars on the premises, bringing its total tally up to 25.


  • 2004 Opening of the First Blending Company site in Bathgate, Scotland, La Martiniquaise’s Scotch whisky ageing and bottling plant
  • 2010 Starlaw grain distillery opens at the First Blending Company site in Bathgate, becoming the first green field Scotch grain distillery built since 1964
  • 2015 La Martiniquaise builds four additional ageing cellars at the distillery to allow for the total maturation of over 600,000 barrels

Starlaw Facts

  • Blends contributed to i
    Various market brands plus Label 5
  • Capacity (mlpa) i
  • Cook time i
    45 minutes
  • Distillation system i
    Continuous vacuum
  • Fermentation Time i
    72 hours
  • Filling Strength i
  • Grain type i
    Wheat/ maize
  • Malted barley % i
  • New-make Strength i
  • Number of columns i
  • Water Source i
    Mains & reclaimed


Parent company

Current owner


Starlaw Distillery
Starlaw Road
West Lothian
EH47 7BW
United Kingdom
+44 1506 468550
Visitor Opening Hours
Not open to the public


See also

  • Label 5 Label 5 Label 5 Brand

    Label 5

    One of the world’s top-selling blends.

  • Glen Moray Glen Moray Glen Moray Distillery & brand

    Glen Moray

    French-owned Elgin distillery.

  • Glen Turner Company Glen Turner Company Glen Turner Company Distiller & blender

    Glen Turner Company

    Grain and malt whisky distiller and blender owned by French group La Martiniquaise.

  • Wallace Paw Wallace Paw Wallace Paw Distillery

    Wallace Paw

    Quaintly named distillery in Bo’ness, West Lothian, that operated briefly in the late 18th century.

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