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LOWLAND DISTILLERYS

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LOWLAND DISTILLERYS

Postby ploughboy » Sun Dec 15, 2002 3:45 pm

CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHY THERE ARE SO FEW LOWLAND DISTILLERYS LEFT? SURELY NOBODY CLOSES A DISTILLERY BECAUSE IT LACKS "WINDSWEPT BUCCANEERING GLAMOUR" AS MICHAEL JACKSON SUGGESTS. AT ONE TIME CENTRAL SCOTLAND HAD MORE DISTILLERYS THAN ANY WHERE ELSE.
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Postby Torodd » Sun Dec 15, 2002 4:58 pm

I do not know.

It is a fact that most people in Scotland lives in that central belt you are referring to. The prices for land is high. The water resources is also not as good as in the Highlands.

Another factor is that Lowlands whisky has not been trendy for the last years. I have bought tens of tens of Highlands and Islands whiskies, but only two Lowlands whiskies. Glenkinchie and Auchentoshan. Whisky is unfortunate to a certain degree a matter of trends. Demand and supply etc.
I would love to see more emphasis on the Lowlands whiskies and I find it very pleasing that this magazine use a lot of time and space on Lowlands whiskies.

I would love to see more Lowlands whiskies. There is new distilleries on Shetland, Arran and Islay, but none in the Lowlands, with the exception of the resurrection of Bladnoch. Anyone interested ??

Another good question is that there with one exception no distilleries in Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway and the Borders. The one exception is Bladnoch. In this vast geographic area, that is very strange. Why ??

You have asked a very good question and I hope somebody with more knowledge than me answer your question.

I wish you a happy Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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Postby lexkraai » Mon Dec 16, 2002 9:22 am

There ARE plans for a new Lowland distillery: Ladybank in Fife.

Cheers, Lex
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Postby Torodd » Mon Dec 16, 2002 12:28 pm

But will Ladybank be classified as Highland or Lowlands ?? The whiskies around Loch Lomond (Old Rhosdu etc.) is classified as Highlands.

I hope Ladybank will be classified as Lowlands. I am in fact looking forward to tasting Ladybank !!!
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Postby lexkraai » Mon Dec 16, 2002 1:30 pm

The Ladybank site is not even close to the Highland Line, so no reason to think Ladybank will be considered a Highland distillery.

Cheers, Lex
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Postby hpulley » Mon Dec 16, 2002 7:41 pm

I too hope they'll reopen more lowland distilleries. I love Rosebank and Bladnoch so I'm glad to hear that the latter is being reopened and hope that GDV will consider reopening Rosebank as more than just a tourist attraction. Littlemill isn't my favorite but it is still a unique whisky.

It is strange but I love many island whiskies and many lowland whiskies but I'm REALLY picky about my highland and speyside favorites, perhaps because there are so many but also because they try to appeal to the masses and offer, IMNSHO, rather uninteresting fare.

Harry
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Postby scotspain » Mon Dec 16, 2002 11:19 pm

Does it matter if a distillery is classified as a Lowland or Highland distillery?
The important factor must be the whisky produced!
My favourite is Adelphi Distillery! Situated in the Lowland but are bottling all kind of whisky.
Stig
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Postby Aidan » Tue Dec 17, 2002 12:21 am

Exactly right Scotspain. The product is all important. Too much attention paid to labels.
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Postby Ize » Tue Dec 17, 2002 8:51 am

I'm interested of trying Bladnoch out, but are there any reasonably priced bottles available?
If I'm absolutely sure about the quality of the bottling, I could spent 50€ on it, but for try outs ... my current limits is 40€. Call me mean, if you like, but I'm not a millionaire. Image

Kippis,
Ize

P.S. Why Bladnoch is expensive? Do they produce only small quantities? Or is it really that good?
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Postby Argyll » Tue Dec 17, 2002 10:38 am

Stig,

you probably already know this but Adelphi Distillery is not a distillery at all - it is an independent bottler (and a rather unqiue one at that).


The best introduction to Bladnoch is through the flora & fauna series 10yo that is roughly £30 or 45E. Try anyone of the major stockists for that one then try some of the Independent Bottlings which will be a little bit more expensive but generally older (and sometimes cask strength).

Argyll
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Postby hpulley » Tue Dec 17, 2002 12:58 pm

Bladnoch is currently expensive because it is CLOSED. They aren't making any at present. Even if it has been reopened there won't be any new product out for the next 8-10 years so we'll have to continue surviving on old stocks.

When I say I wish they'd save some lowland distilleries I mean I wish they'd save the place that makes them and the methods. Lowland whisky tastes the way it does because of how it is made. Making a new distillery in the lowlands with a new scotch distillation equipment and process doesn't interest me as much -- if it makes good whisky I'll buy it but right now I'm lamenting the loss of the lowland whisky style.

Harry

[This message has been edited by hpulley (edited 17 December 2002).]
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Postby lexkraai » Tue Dec 17, 2002 1:52 pm

Bladnoch closed? To the best of my knowledge they're producing and I tasted a few 1 y.o. and 2 y.o. cask samples at the Festival in The Hague. True, they have been closed for a while and it will be a number of years before whisky from after the reopening will be bottled.

Cheers, Lex
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Tue Dec 17, 2002 2:24 pm

Bladnoch have a good website at www.bladnoch.co.uk

cheers

Rudolph
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Postby Torodd » Tue Dec 17, 2002 3:01 pm

Does anyone have tasting notes on Littlemill ?? The distillery is closed, but some stock still exist.
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Postby Gate » Tue Dec 17, 2002 3:32 pm

Littlemill can be very nice (Michael Jackson's tasting notes in his Companion are pretty much in line with my own experience); but it is very variable. They must have had problems with quality control from run to run, because the first couple of bottles I had (the "standard" 8-year-old) were a lovely, soft dram, the 12-year-old Signatory is excellent, and I have a 1964 bottling which is to die for; but the bottle I have at the moment (8-year-old) is dire - spirity, harsh and with a distinctly rank edge. I tried some in a pub recently, and that was every bit as bad. I hope this is just a passing phase.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Dec 17, 2002 4:33 pm

Hi ploughboy,

The Lowlands use to have a lot of distilleries, and one said that in the peak period they had around 250 distilleries. Why they are closed? many reasons I can think of. I dont realy know why there are so few left, although the Lowland whiskies are quite popular, take Rosebank for example, or St Magdalene aka Linlithgow, or perhaps the long forgotten Kinclaith Distillery and many others like The Ladyburn Distillery. Much longer ago we had Yoker Distillery and Adelphi Distillery. It's good to see that distilleries like Bladnoch are operating again, and perhaps it goes the same for Rosebank in the near by future. Ofcourse there some other silent distilleries, like Little Mill or Inverleven, and nobody will ever know why no one will bring them back alive?
Perhaps some distilleries, like Ladybank for example, will come back and extend the Lowland range of producing distilleries....

Erik
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Postby Torodd » Tue Dec 17, 2002 8:00 pm

Littlemill closed ten years ago. I have seen the place (travelling past it by train and car twice a day between 1996 and 2001). The distillery is damaged beyond repair. I guess the land is still up for sale. btw, Littlemill is situated at a place called Bowling, which is between Dumbarton and Dalmuir (Auchentoshan distillery).

Rosebank has just been put up for sale for housing developments, if my memory serves me right. You can check this out in the new issue of this magazine.

The situation is grim....
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Postby Ize » Wed Dec 18, 2002 7:48 am

Ah, my whisky provider has now some more Bladnochs available.

10yo F&F is out of question, price ~53€.
88/01 Sign. would be ~38€.
88/01 Conn. would be ~47€.

Latter two I could consider .. especially the Signatory bottling, do I get hang of the Bladnoch with it?

Kippis,
Ize

P.S. About Lowland specialties, I haven't taste my miniature of Douglas Laing Linlithgow 26yo cask strength yet ... it's waiting for proper moment. Yhym, I can't hardly wait that to come, now I got terrible flu and I won't risk anything with this whisky. Heh, 5cl miniature costs ~13€, but I still consider it as a bargain if you look at the prices for as old other whiskies. Image
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Postby hpulley » Thu Dec 19, 2002 8:07 pm

Sorry for my out of date Bladnoch info. I didn't realize they had new spirit samples out already. Tough life out here in the colonies... Sad to hear about Rosebank, I had hopes it might get a reprieve.

Guess I'll have to give Auchentoshan another try as it is more of a lowland than Glenkinchie of the currently available lowlanders, IMO. Glenkinchie isn't bad and certainly has the trademark dry finish of a lowland but otherwise seems more like a light highland malt.

As for Littlemill, the Signatory 1990 bottling is decent. Certainly better than the current 8yo that is still hanging around which is, as said above, quite spirity. All Littlemills I've tasted are quite grassy and lemony with light bodies and short finishes. I haven't liked any of them enough to buy a bottle. The 8yo has been through An Quaich a couple of times already.

Rosebank is still my favorite with 1990 Signatory and 1989 Murry&McDavid being my favorite bottlings.

Another good one if you want an inexpensive Lowland is Frasers Reserve Lowland Single Malt. It is a 'mystery' IB but the one I have is very good and I believe it is a 10yo Bladnoch. No matter which distillery it comes from, it is good and quite reasonably priced.

Harry
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Postby hpulley » Thu Dec 19, 2002 8:09 pm

Has anyone actually read the Bladnoch web page? Medium peated Bladnoch? Peated Bladnoch??? They say it is a departure from the traditional lowland taste but my question is WHY? What is the point? Is this just for cask sales or is this all they'll be making?

Harry

[This message has been edited by hpulley (edited 19 December 2002).]
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Postby ploughboy » Fri Dec 20, 2002 12:12 am

Hi all, thanks for so many replies to my first posting although no-one has answered my question. Must mean there is no obvious reason why there is so few lowlands left?
I think bladnoch is a great dram i have a James MacArthur and Signatory bottling on the go at the moment and James MacArthur is by far the best.
Rosebank is my favorite at this moment in time, Gordon & Macfail connossiuors chioce, sorry for for the spelling but i have sampled too much of there products.
Auchentoshan is also a great dram, I prefer the no age to the ten year old.
GlenKinchie is a bit peppery, the double matured is best but not very lowland.
I have a bottle of St Magdalane which so far has remained unopened.
the other lowlanders I have no experiance of.
I think bladnoch is doing a peated whisky as a variation on the theme, like Glenmorangies wood finnishes
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Postby hpulley » Fri Dec 20, 2002 7:17 pm

I think there are few and generally less as time goes by (with a few exceptions) because they are not that popular. They were originally triple distilled so that they'd be lighter but for many they are too light. Even long ago they'd get distilled a fourth time and then sold as vodka or flavored and sold as gin! Blenders found them useful but grain whisky is cheaper.

Harry
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Postby anna zigure » Mon Dec 23, 2002 8:10 pm

Kinclaith is wonderful try Glen Scotia as well
LOve the whisky lady
Anna zigure
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Postby blackkeno » Wed Dec 25, 2002 8:05 am

Of course Glen Scotia is a Campbeltown rather than a Lowland--but technically is "Campbeltown" still a region? The bottles still say it, but I thought I heard it was de-certified as a region?

Even though I'm quite fond of many Lowlands, I'm even more concerned about Campbeltown! Only one and a half distilleries today in where once were the most! Yet, with Glen Scotia, and Springbank also making Longrow and Hazelburn, and starting Glengyle next year--there is hope!
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Postby Ian_Hamilton » Sun Dec 29, 2002 10:01 pm

I think the answer to your question is simply that Lowland Malt is just not as good, most people want that complex speysider or especially that cracking islay, I have been in to loads of whisky shops in scotland and hear the customers say.... I dont really know what to buy, and I have never heard a reply from the assistant of ...well why not go for a Lowland Malt, a nice Glenkinchie.
They are always talking up other whiskies and why not?
In all honesty instead of a bottle of Glenkinchie I would rather have a half bottle of Ardbeg/Bruichladdich/Longrow any day!
HOWEVER watch out Auchentoshan IS THE NEW AND ONLY LOWLAND DRAM!
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