Glenkinchie Distillery is also know as the home of “The Edinburgh Malt” is located in the rolling farmland of East Lothian and houses an excellent exhibition in the listed red brick buildings.
Your visit begins with an exhibition which is situated on the Old Malting Floors. You will then be met by your guide and taken out on tour round the production area of the distillery where you will learn how to make “the water of life”. To finish your tour you are welcomed into the bar for a dram of Glenkinchie 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky and another of your choice to compare flavours.
The area of east Lothian was the birthplace of the 18th century agricultural revolution in Scotland which was to change the landscape in order to provide better feed for livestock and produce for markets in neighbouring towns and cities. East Lothian was once know as the Larder of Edinburgh and to this day is an important source of agricultural livestock and food supply for the city of Edinburgh. Barley and water are in good supply and good quality produce is locally grown for the distillery.
By 1837 local farmers, John and George Rate had become the first recorded licence holders of Glenkinchie Distillery, malting the barley grown in their adjoining fields and mashing it in pure water from springs in the Lammermuir hills to produce one of Scotland’s Classic Malt whiskies.
In 1914, the company was one of five lowland malt whisky distilleries to form Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. To concentrate their resources during a time of recession. Scottish Malt Distillers then became part of United distillers and subsequently, part of the Diageo drinks group.
What to look out for on your tour:
The working model of the distillery made in 1924 preserved in the distillery museum. The various stages of the whisky making process on your tour of the distillery:
Milling – Mashing – Fermentation – Distillation – Maturation
- The mash tun (used in mashing)
- The washbacks (where fermentation takes place)
- The 2 copper pot stills (where distillation takes place) which are amongst the largest stills in Scotland
- The spirit safe (controlled by Customs & Excise)
- A dram of Glenkinchie at the end of your tour – Slainte!
Things to listen out for on the tour
- What is the 'Angel's Share'?
- What was the bell used for?
- What type of wood is used to make the barrels?