Collection: Lochlea

For the past several years, a private distillery in Lochlea has quietly crafted, aged and caskd our spirit while we patiently waited to share the results of our labors with the world.

Before former Laphroaig distillery manager John Campbell took over, distillery manager Malcolm Rennie served as first manager with his experience and knowledge. John brings a wealth of knowledge and a burning desire to help Lochlea fulfill his potential. Over the past 27 years he has built one of the top ten Scotch brands in the world.

A whiskey that is more than just a pretty bottle to look at, collect or keep. It's a whiskey that belongs in cocktail cabinets, around campfires, in wedding hip flasks and in all your favorite bars, pubs and pubs.

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History of the Lochlea distillery

On the Ayrshire farm, once home to Robert Burns, is home to one of Scotland's most fascinating new distilleries. Lochlea Distillery has long been a well-kept secret, but after a £6 million investment and four years of construction, it began distilling in 2018whiskey. The independent, farm-based distillery has since ventured into the spotlight and is now the center of attention with its debut release. This debut release, just in time for Burns Night on January 25th, the Bard's birthday, is a perfect marketing event and offers a first glimpse of what Lochlea is all about.

Lochleawas formerly a cattle ranch, but after the current owners purchased it in 2006 and expanded the land holdings to approximately 222 acres, they realized that something completely different was needed to make a farm of this size viable. In 2015, they began an experiment, growing 50 acres of malting barley. Since then, they have worked quietly and learned from mistakes, explored opportunities and made contacts in the malt industry.

Neil McGeoch founded Lochlea Distillery in 2015. The first master distiller, Malcolm Rennie, carried out production before moving to the newly built Rosebank Distillery. The first whiskey was produced in 2018.

In 2021, John Campbell took over the position of master distiller. He is known for his years of experience at Laphroaig on Islay and is a renowned name in the whiskey scene.

The first Lochlea whiskeys were brought onto the market from the beginning of 2022. The first edition sold out in the first 24 hours and attracted a lot of attention in the whiskey industry. More bottlings are constantly being released, and a limited special bottling is released every few months. One of these is the Lochlea Cask Strength with only 15,000 bottles worldwide. The first standard whiskey, Lochlea Our Barley, is now finally available.

  • Exterior view of the Lochlea Distillery

  • Idyllic Lochlea landscape

Production of the Lochlea distillery

At Lochlea Whiskey there are no compromises when it comes to single malt. Everything is geared towards producing spirits of the highest quality - from the wooden washbacks to the on-site shelf storage. The farm distillery uses its own unpeated barley varieties such as Loreate and works with fermentation times between 66 and 110 hours. A semi-loud mashtun, 6 Douglas fir washbacks and 2 pot stills custom-made by Forsyth are used. Annual production is 200,000 LPA (liters of pure alcohol) and the barrels are purchased directly from the source, whether they are first fill ex-bourbon barrels from Maker's Mark in Kentucky or fresh sherry casks straight from Jerez.

The team has the opportunity at Lochlea to work with more experimental casks like former onesLaphroaigQuarter Casks or former Cabernet Sauvignon casks to assess how the spirit of Lochlea interacts with different cask types. Lochlea creates a unique flavor profile by using Lochlea's own barley and encouraging long fermentation and meticulous distilling cut. Another malt is produced that is suitable for long aging and is not bottled until it has been in barrel for at least 10 years.

As an independent, family-owned distillery, Lochlea has the freedom to be innovative, flexible and responsive without the constraints of a large corporate structure. By using the farm's own barley and on-site water source, there is full traceability of the ingredients that go into the process. This allows for a higher level of quality control and a flavor profile unique to Lochlea. At Lochlea Distillery you should forget preconceived notions about Lowland Whiskey because Lochlea is different - elegant and full of fruity notes!

  • Douglas fir washbacks

  • Pot still from Forsythe, typical of Scotland

Other interesting facts about the Lochlea distillery

The Lochlea Distillery produces its whiskey under the motto “dare to be honest”. This means that the single malt can be completely traced from the harvest of the barley to the bottling. The use of our own barley is particularly special at Lochlea. But the long-time expert John Campbell (formerly Laphroaig) as manager and master blender as well as the exciting selection of barrels should not be overlooked.

Lochlea Farm is a unique single estate distillery that grows its own barley on the farm. The farm has a long and impressive history, as it was once lived and managed by Robert Burns, an important Scottish national poet. The unpeated barley rise is accentuated by a long fermentation time to enhance fruity notes in the whisky. Whiskey is produced here in a quality that you won't find anywhere else.

The typical trademark are the tractor tracks on the packaging. This closes the circle of sustainability.

  • One of Lochlea's barrel warehouses

  • Track gate marks - the typical trademark of the distillery.

Location of the Lochlea distillery