Bladnoch Distillery
Bladnoch, Dumfries and Galloway


Scotland’s oldest distilleries have not always had an easy time of it. While the last few decades have been buoyant for single malt it wasn’t always the case and one distillery that has had more than its fair share of turbulence is Bladnoch. It is one on Scotland’s oldest distilleries, being established in 1817 when two brothers John and Thomas McClelland built a distillery and started making whisky on their farm in Bladnoch near Wigtown in the far south-west. The McClelland era was the distillery’s most consistent with them retaining ownership until 1905 and picking up a good reputation as a great single malt for the blended market. Over the next 110 years it changed hands several times as whisky had its ups and downs. In 2015 it was bought out of administration by Australian entrepreneur David Prior with the whisky expertise coming from the former CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association, Gavin Hewitt. The distillery was in a run-down state so a total refurbishment was started to bring Bladnoch back to its former glory.

The Whisky
There hasn’t been much to come out of the distillery as yet apart from a limited release of three single malts created using whisky that was already ageing at the distillery. In 2017 after the refurbishment they officially started producing their own style of single malt which they have said will be light, sweet and grassy in a classic Lowland style. If you are really into your whisky then you can still pick up some independent bottling of Bladnoch. I am really looking forward to tasting Bladnoch when it is ready: this historic distillery deserves to be back in the game again.

Why Visit?
As well as considerable investment into the production side of the distillery they also opened a visitor’s centre in the summer last year that has a historical gallery, gift shop, cafe, and tasting bar. This is a part of Scotland that most people don’t think about if visiting distilleries but it is well worth the effort to get yourself down there.

Interesting fact
They are building quite the Scotch superstar team here and even signed up master distiller, Dr Nick Savage, who was previously master distiller at The Macallan, arguably the Rolls Royce of single malts.