About this SPIRIT
Glenkinchie Distillery, Lowlands
South and East of Edinburgh lies the farming country of East Lothian. Here, at the heart of the farming community south of Tranent, since the early 18th century the barley had often been grown on land manured with local seaweed, ripened earlier and was lighter than grain grown elsewhere in Scotland - qualities that are now prized in the Lowland malts made from it.
The Glenkinchie distillery was founded between 1825 and 1833 by the brothers George and John Rate. It is now part of the Diageo group. The malt is also used in blends, among others Haig, Johnny Walker Red and Black Label, Buchanan and Dimple.
Today, with just two Lowland distilleries left in production (the other being Auchentoshan), Glenkinchie is a veritable ambassador of the elegant, floral Lowland style.
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.