Bladnoch – A Distillery Visit
It is early on Thursday 27th January and Jim and Nicola are heading to Bladnoch Distillery (Scotlands most southern Distillery) by the scenic route via Dumfries and Newton Stewart.
We arrived around noon and parked near the shop and visitor centre of this very quaint Distillery.
This Lowland Distillery is on the north bank of the river Bladnoch, only a mile or so south west of Wigtown.
telephone: 01988 402605
Open All Year, Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
Saturday 11am – 5 PM
Sunday 12 noon – 5 PM
Closed between Christmas & Hogmanay
This grand old distillery founded by John and Thomas McClelland way back in 1817. Over the years it changed hands on many an occassion.
In 1995 the entrepreneurial Irishman Raymond Armstrong purchased the Distillery and after many a penny or three and much lost sleep he reopend in the second half of 2000, his first Whisky was an 8 year old single malt available from 2009.
In the visitor centre we were met my the centre manager, Yolanda, who asked us to wait for a couple of minutes until she found out where Raymond was. No sooner said than done when the effervescent owner Raymond Armstrong appeared.
When all the introductions and hand shaking was over, Raymond gave us a full and detailed tour of all area’s of Bladnoch Distillery.
The warehouses were full of casks and we even witnessed John the stillman, together with a colleague racking and stacking some Bladnoch casks. On this day the stills were not in production, so the stillroom was unusally cold.
It amazed the Whisky Boys that so many other Distilleries stored their casks in these fabulous dunnage style warehouses, and even one wealthy lady stored several casks of gin in one of the warehouses, how opulent.
After this intensive tour we retired to the dramming room for a wee tasting, at this point Jim knew it was wrong of him to be the designated driver for the day, next Distillery visit will be Nicola’s day to drive.
The tasting room was well laid out and many an open bottle of Single Malt awaited the expectant taster. Jim had the smallest of drams of the lightly peated 8 Year Old Bladnoch, an absolute delight it was. Nicola had a couple of tastings but her favourite was the 20 year old Bladnoch from a sherry cask.
The shop had all of Bladnoch’s bottlings up for sale together with other bottlings from casks that Raymond had purchased, Caol Ila, Port Ellen, Glen Ord and Linkwood to mention but just a few. Other trinkets/books etc were also available in the shop.
This is a highly recommended Distillery for all the Whisky lovers of the world to visit and enjoy, especially if you meet Raymond, whose enthusiasm and passion for his Distillery knows no bounds.
We left the Distillery with a bottle of Bladnoch Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Barrel no. 30491, Distilled 28th May 1990, 51.8% Alc/vol, 70cl. This bottle will feature soon on our Whisky tasting section, so look out for that one, should be a belter.
So it is a BIG THANKS we give to all the staff and especially Raymond for making this a grand visit.