Whisky Magazine Issue 137
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Porteus – a ‘treasured trade mark'
The cheerful pillarbox red Porteus mills are familiar sights to many visitors touring Scotch whisky distilleries. The Leeds-based company built their roller mills during the 1960s and they were so durably constructed that they were able to grind for decades through ton after ton of malted barley without ever needing to be replaced. The kit was so good in fact, that Porteus went out of business. These days, technology would have provided the perfect flaw; periodically, the distillery manager would have received an email to say that the Porteus 1.0 software was no longer supported and they would need to upgrade to a new mill to benefit from the latest software. I digress. Typically, as the tour guide shepherds visitors into a mill room, the vibratory, rumbling noises may be so deafening that they have to hurry the party on. If it's impassively dormant, then once everyone has admired the shiny paintwork, there's nothing left to do but shuffle through to the mashtun. You rarely get to poke around inside, or see the clever kit that lies above.
The Isle of Jura Distillery was rebuilt then reopened in 1963, even though there is a history of distillation in Craighouse stretching back over 200 years. Their roller Porteus mill was acquired second-hand from a Scottish & Newcastle brewery. High above the mill's four rollers, Porteus constructed charming wooden cabinets with latched doors to house the malt dresser apparatus; externally, it would not look out of place in your grandmothe...