Whisky Magazine Issue 130
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The spirit starts to flow in Glasgow
When the first cask was filled on 4 March of this year in the anonymous former warehouse which is home to the Glasgow Distillery, it marked the return of malt whisky distillation to Scotland's largest city for the first time since 1903.
The original Glasgow Distillery was built in 1770 at Dundashill and was operated by the Glasgow Distillery Company from 1825. A column still was installed to produce grain spirit in 1899, just before the blended Scotch whisky boom turned spectacularly to bust. Four years later the distillery fell silent never to reopen.
Fast forward to 2013 when the Glasgow Distillery Company was revived by Liam Hughes and business associates, initially with the intention of distilling only gin. Hughes has been in the drinks business since leaving university – working for Grand Metropolitan amongst other firms – while Marketing Director Mike Haywood was employed by Burton-on- Trent brewers Bass.
“We both have sales and marketing backgrounds,” says Hughes “and we always wanted to do something like this.
We looked at the growing gin business, and we were keen to do it in Glasgow, where I live. Glasgow is a vibrant city with great bars, as good as you'll find in London or New York in my opinion.” “Glasgow had no heritage of gin-making but we found out about the old Glasgow Distillery Company and although we were just going to distil gin to start with, we got into the idea of bringing malt whisky production back to Glasgow.” Meanwhile, a 450 l...