About this SPIRIT
Littlemill Distillery, Lowlands
Littlemill has the enviable claim of being quite possibly the oldest malt whisky distillery in Scotland. Or at least it would have had this, if it weren’t for the fact that production stopped permanently in 1996, and the remaining buildings were destroyed by fire in 2004.
A Lowlands whisky distillery by classification, not only due to location but also due to its tradition of triple distillation, Littlemill bottlings are growing increasingly rare, so any aficionados should grab one as soon as they spot it.
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.