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No: 50
Producer: United
Region: Lowland
District: Borders  -   Multimap view
OS Sheet 83 ; Map reference NX 42 54 ; Latitude 54 51.6° N, Longitude 4 27.3° W
Founded 1800s ; Operating Status: mothballed (1993); being de-mothballed 1998

The most southerly of Scotland's distilleries, standing far from any other at Wigtown, by the river Bladnoch, on the Machars peninsula of Galloway. The distillery was founded in the early 1800s, closed in 1938, reopened in the 1950s and was taken over by Bells in 1983, not long before their acquisition by what is now United Distillers.
© Michael Jackson 1994

The distillery is mothballed [1994], major shame, but the area is fascinating, right in the south west corner of Scotland and I thoroughly recommend a visit to the area, known as the South Makars, if you ever get to Scotland. If you are in that area, stay in the Corsemalzie Hotel near Port William, if funds permit, or any of the very good bed and breakfasts in Glenluce. Also visit the 2nd hand bookshop in Wigtown. [rb, 1994]

Gleaned from the Malts mailing list:

Yesterday, I called in at the Bladnoch distillery. List folk may be aware that this, Scotland's southern-most distillery, was closed by UD in 1993, and sold to an Irish businessman, a Mr Armstrong, with a covenant stipulating that no whisky could be distilled there. I posted the list back in February following a BBC TV programme which appeared to show spirit flowing through the Spirit Safe, but as nobody was able to enlighten me on whether this was real or not, I thought I'd better do a bit of detective work while in the area.

It turns out that for the February filming, they were pumping water through the safe to give the right impression, but..... I was informed by the staff there, that UD agreed to lift the restrictive covenant in January this year, and since then work has been under way to get the distillery back into an operable state, UD having removed various pipes, pumps, etc. They are now waiting for the final missing part, part of a heat exchanger, and all being well plan to restart distilling at the end of August! [1998 - jhb]

It is anticipated that most of the production will be sold for blending, and a decision will be taken on whether to sell the whisky as a 8yo or 10yo Single Malt.

Incidentally, the free dram I was given was a G&M CC 1986 distillation. This has replaced the UD 10yo which was on offer when I last visited in 1996, but which has apparently now run out.

Finally, how could I visit a distillery without buying a bottle? Answer, I couldn't. They had a good range of Signatory bottlings, from which I selected a 1979 Bruichladdich, cask number 851, distilled 23/3/79, bottled 13/1/98. I have the 71st of 280 bottles, has anyone tasted one of the other 279, and if so, any comments? At UKP29.50, this seemed a good buy, being cheaper than the standard 15yo distillery bottling. [gp 26/q3.98]

[August 1998] It is no longer mothballed, but has been taken over by an Irishman and should be starting production in October. Production would have started, but they are waiting for a heat exchanger. The first Malt should appear, as The Bladnoch, in 2006 [Rob Davies]
Distillery rating: 4*

Bladnoch, Wigtownshire, DG8 9AB
Tel: 01988-42235


8 yr old, 80 proof
Light, little character, somewhat harsh. [lh]

SMWS bottling 50.4:
The star of the show! The whisky was light in colour with a fine rich nose, quite like a good brandy when undiluted. Diluted slightly, it maintained a mouth-filling sweetness which was warming without being in the slightest cloying or overpowering. 9 years old and 104% and, in my opinion, perfect. From a refilled sherry cask, so the first fill must have been huge.[rb]

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