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1992 Berrys' Own Selection Bladnoch, Lowlands, Single Malt Whisky, 46%
The Bladnoch distillery started its life as a farm on the banks of the river Bladnoch in 1817. It belonged to Thomas McClelland and remainded in the hands of the McClelland / McLelland family (who also rebuilt the distillery in 1871) until it was closed in 1938.
Bladnoch had a string of owners, before Bladnoch Distillery Ltd. bought it back in 1956 and regenerated its production. This was followed by a short spell under the ownership of Arthur Bell & Sons, which was eventually incorporated to United Distillers (Diageo) in 1985.
Diageo mothballed the stills in 1993 and converted it to a heritage centre. Raymond Armstrong, an Irish businessman acquired it on year later and in 2000 he managed to get the whole operation back into working order.
However, the production is limited at about 100.000 litres (esp. when compared to the late 80s output of 1,300,000 litres). Most of is sold on a strict, confidential pre-allocation.
Lowland whiskies come from the area north of the English border, and south of a line drawn between Greenock in the west, and Dundee in the east. Traditionally they have been the source of a lot of the whisky to be used for blends, as such the style is much lighter than other regions, with little or no peat. By the late 19th centaury almost the entire production of the Lowland distilleries went for blending
The growth in popularity and power of the Highland and Speyside distilleries, has been matched by a fall from favour for Lowland producers, to such an extent that today there are only three left in production. By far and away the two biggest whisky distilleries are Auchentoshan and Glenkinchie. The third being Bladnoch, which is also, the most southerly distillery of all.
Auchentoshan Distillery is on the northern edge of Glasgow and was founded in 1800. It has a light, cereal and citrus nose and a clean, dry finish. Glenkinchie Distillery is located at Pencaitland, just outside Edinburgh. Typical of Lowland malt whiskies: fragrant and reserved, with a clean, fresh flavour.
There are some silent stills, whose whiskies are still found from time to time. Rosebank is quite often seen and was generally considered to be the best Lowland malt. Occasionally, but more rarely seen are St.Magdalene from Linlithgow, Littlemill from Bowling Dumbartonshire and Ladyburn, which was housed inside William Grants grain distillery at Girvan on the Ayrshire coast.