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No: 137
Founded 1826 ; Operating Status: long since closed

Location: Glasgow
A malt and grain distillery, founded in 1826, visited by Alfred Barnard, 1887 and closed in 1960.

The Adelphi Distillery was once a well known name in Glasgow and a landmark in the Gorbals.

Established in 1826 on the south bank of the River Clyde at the heart of Glasgow, the Adelphi Distillery had by 1880 grown into one of the largest and most technically advanced distilleries in Scotland. Unusually, it produced both malt and grain whiskies, had its own blending and bottling facilities, and enjoyed the benefit of excellent distribution via a branch railway line and the adjacent wharves along the Clyde waterfront.

Alfred Barnard, author of the monumental Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom (1897), described the latter when he visited the Adelphi in 1855:

"The scene presented to the eye (viewed from Jamaica Bridge) is one never to be forgotten. A forest of masts extending as far as the eye can reach; the open centre of the silver stream; the wharves piled high with wares from every nation, and alive with men from all parts of the world; the continuous flow of passengers passing to andfrom the various steamers; and the endless variety of sounds and sights complete a picture unequalled in any other city in the world "
The distillery was owned by Archibald Walker and Company, who also owned distilleries in Liverpool and Limerick, and production was in excess of 500,000 gallons per annum during the 80's and 90's.

Then, in 1900, the whisky industry went into sharp recession. The problem was overproduction. What would now be termed a 'whisky loch' had been created and, following the coronation of Edward VII, Scotch-and-Soda was replaced by Champagne as the fashionable drink. Many whisky companies went into receivership - bringing down the City of Glasgow Bank with them - and others, including the Adelphi, joined forces with The Distillers Company Limited (DCL - now United Distillers).

Production ceased at the Adelphi immediately and never recommenced. The warehouses and bottling halls were used until 1960, then they too were closed and demolished.

The water came from Loch Katrine. The owners, Archibald Walker and Co also owned the distillery at Limerick and the Vauxhall distillery in Liverpool.

The great-grandson of the Adelphi's last owner is trying to re-establish the Adelphi name, if not the distillery itself. You can read all about it as he is promoting it through the Highland Trail. The reference contains a bit about the Adelphi distillery and about whisky in general. There is something of a crusade there by the looks of it:

The Adelphi Distillery Co.
3 Gloucester Lane
Tel: 0131 226 6670
Fax: 0131 226 6672

Visit the distillery's Web site
Search Dr. Do'g's index for the history of Adelphi
There just might be some news about Adelphi in The "Scotsman" newspaper