Lochside distillery was founded in 1957, making it one of the newer distilleries in Scotland. It was rebuilt from previously being a Deuchar's Beer brewery into a malt whsiky facility by McNab distilleries. McNab ran an incredibly efficient operation at the distillery, and under their management the distillery even had its own bottling line, which was very unusual for the time.
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The East Highlands distillery of Lochside was closed in 1992, and demolished in 2005, which makes sourcing official bottlings of the single malt extremely difficult. The distillery did release an official range, which was comprised of an 10 year old, 18 year old, and a 31 year old. There have also been a series of independent bottlings of Lochside. Adelphi have released a 46 year old and a 47 year old, and Gordon & MacPhail have released a 13 year old bottling.
The production capacity of Lochside is unknown, although as the distillery had only two wash and two spirit stills it must not have been much over a million liters a year. The stills had onion shape bases, and traditional swan-shaped necks. The water used in production was drawn from the Borebold aquifer, which was located beneath the distillery. Lochside was equipped with a cast iron mash tun and open stainless steel washbacks. The distillery also had grain stills, but these were not often used.
The Pot Stills
Lochside distillery operated with two wash stills and two spirit stills. All of the pot stills, both the wash and spirit, had a capacity of 20'000 liters.
The malt used in the production of Lochside was unpeated. The distillery sourced its malt from an industrial source in Edinburgh. The original barley was selected from a range of lowland farms.
Lochside malt whisky was matured in Ex-Bourbon casks. The distillery has a complex of dunnage bonded warehouses, which were the last part of the distillery to be demolished.
Lochside distillery was founded in 1957, making it one of the newer distilleries in Scotland. It was rebuilt from previously being a Deuchar's Beer brewery into a malt whsiky facility by McNab distilleries. McNab ran an incredibly efficient operation at the distillery, and under their management the distillery even had its own bottling line, which was very unusual for the time. Initially, operations at Lochside were overseen by the legendary Joseph W Hobbs. Hobbs was the proprietor of the Ben Nevis distillery, and an extremely renowned and experienced distiller. When Hobbs passed away in 1964, his son Joe took over control Lochside's management.
Joe managed the site until the decision was made to halt production in 1971, and eventually be put up for sale. In 1972 Lochside was bought by the Spanish company Destilerias y Crianza del Whisky, which re-started production. In May 1992, the last bottling occurred at the site. The distillery was then mothballed. In 1994, Allied Lyons bought Pedro Domecq, and changed its name to Allied Domecq. Allied had potential plans to re-invigorate the distillery, but none came to fruition. In 1997, all of the equipment from the site was removed from the buildings, officially ending the chance of the distillery operating again.
In 2005, the facilities were partly destroyed by a fire. Through the merger of Allied Domecq, Chivas Brothers became the new owners of the distillery. The distillery was completely demolished in 2005. Rather depressingly, a housing estate now stands on the site of the distillery.
There is no visitor's centre at Lochside distillery, and sadly, as the distillery has now been demolished, it isn't possible to visit the site.