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Issue 62 - Lochside no more

Whisky Magazine Issue 62
March 2007

 

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Lochside no more

In the first of a new series Gavin D. Smithgoes in search of whisky's lost heritage

The Scotch whisky industry has always been prone to periods of ‘boom' and ‘bust.' During the boom times new distilleries have been constructed, while bust has inevitably meant plant closures.

The luckiest of the distilleries which fall silent are later resurrected, and in recent years these have included BenRiach, Bruichladdich and Tullibardine. However, many have been demolished to make way for retail or residential developments, and live on only in photographs, written records, and the occasional collectable bottle of malt.

One of those truly lost distilleries in Lochside, which boasts a very individual history and until 2005 stood on the outskirts of the east coast port of Montrose, where its distinctive cream-washed stone-built ‘tower' was a landmark for miles around.

Lochside was one of Scotland's most visually interesting distilleries, being based in a converted 1890s ‘Brauhaus' style brewery.A number of notable Scottish distilleries such as Glenmorangie, Glen Moray and Tullibardine had their origins in brewing operations, but the Victorian Lochside distillery functioned as a brewery for all but the last 36 years of its working life.

A brewery had been established on the Lochside site in 1781, and was subsequently rebuilt in the late 19th century to the design of the great Elgin distillery architect Charles Doig. In 1926 it was purchased by Tynesidebased James Deuchar Ltd, and for many years, the brewery's own boat transported Newcastle Brown Ale by sea from...

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