top of page
  • AutorenbildErnie - Ernst Scheiner

Lochlea. Lowland Distillery. Facts

Aktualisiert: 6. März

New Lochlea Manager John Campbell

Malcom Rennie, who left Lochlea Farm Distillery for Rosebank Distillery,

appointed by February 1st, 2022,

was followed by John Campbell in October 2021.

March 2024 updated

The Ileach Campbell had been distillery manager at Laphroaig for more than 27 years. John will certainly enjoy the work at the independent family owned distillery on the mainland.


Inaugural Whisky

was released on Robert Burns Birthday, Tuesday 25th January, 2022

The first distillation was done in August 2018 by Malcolm Rennie. Many experiments were carried out: milling, mashing temperatures, yeast strains and fermentation, distillation, setting the high and narrow cut points.

Photos Courtesy Lochlea Distillery

Malcolm Rennie:

The spirit is very sweet, very fruity...very fresh, very
Malcolm Rennie
clean...slight minty...sweetness."

The inaugural release of 7,000 bottles came on the market in January 2022. Due to supply problems with the bottle producer had planned the release in September 2021. But supply problems changed plans to November. But release had to be postponed due to Brexit. The new Lowland Single Malt was bottled non-chill filtered at 46% abv in natural colour.

The Blender was Malcolm Rennie. The vatting of a choice of Bourbon barrels and PX-Casks is the reminiscence of his pioneering work setting up the aroma profile of the Lochlea new make.

The young double distilled whisky matured in first-fill Bourbon barrels and Pedro Ximénez casks on site for three years. The Laureate barley came from their own Lochlea farm. It was malted by Bairds.

The inaugural Single Malt was presented by Production Manager John Campbell on Burns' birthday.

Farm Distillery. From Grain to Glass

Farmer and Distiller Neil McGeoch bought the 222 Acre Farm with a herd of Simmental cattle in 2006. He made his fortunes with clothing retail stores M&Co.

The original farm building, a pigsty, was converted into a family-run distillery in 2017.

Distillery Facts

  • only owner and director Neil James McGeoch, Lochlea Ltd.

  • over £6m investment

  • planning started in 2014

  • permission August 2015

  • first spirit August 2018, first trials in April 2028

  • first distillery manager Malcolm Rennie until September 2021

  • current distillery manager John Campbell from October 2021

  • barley is grown on their own farmland around the distillery

  • arrangements with local farmers to secure supply

  • water from a borehole on site

  • two tonne semi-Lauter mash tun

  • three waters 64.5°C, 2nd 85°C, 3rd 85°C

  • 10.000 litre of semi-clear wort

  • six wooden washbacks, Douglas Fir, 15,000 litres

  • dried Mauri yeast

  • around 65 to 110/116 hours fermentation

  • two short and one long fermentation per week which are married

  • two swan neck pot stills made by Richard Forsyth in Rothes

  • wash still 10.000 litre, spirit still with ball 6.300 litre

  • shell and tube condensers

  • low wines around 25% abv

  • cut points between 66 and 69% abv, 67 % abv

  • flavour of new make, high esters and fruity

  • two steel rack warehouse on site, capacity 10,000 casks

  • 30 casks are filled every week

  • mainly first-fill Bourbon barrels from Maker's Mark, some seasoned Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez casks from Miguel Martin, Huelva, red wine barriques, Madeira casks plus special Jim Swan STRs (shaved, toasted, recharred), about 26 cask types, Sauternes barriques, ex-Islay casks

  • around 7 000 casks in March 2024

  • distilling capacity is around 200 000 LPA

  • annual harvest of Laureate barley 600 tonnes

  • Malster is Bairds, three times a year with 200 t batches

  • no other grain from other farms is used

  • there is no visitor centre at the moment

  • Website:

"We always source our casks directly to ensure they maintain their integrity. The majority of these arrive straight from Kentucky (ex-Bourbon) and Jerez (ex-Sherry), however we also have a variety of exciting experimental casks [Chinquapin oak] tucked away too.

With over 7,000 casks in total currently maturing in our warehouses, we're excited to see how our spirit develops over time."

Source Lochlea Distillery, March 2024

Photos Courtesy Lochlea Distillery

The Inaugural Release

The newly appointed production manager and master blender John Campbell presented the new Lowland Single Malt. The first Lochlea whisky is a vatting of 22 casks, mainly first-fill Bourbon barrels and seasoned Pedro Ximénez Casks.

The First Release Single Malt Whisky from Lochlea was available from Tuesday 25th January, 2022 which is actually the birthday of the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns.

German Importer is The House of Whisky Kirsch.

NB: Robert Burns father William was a former tenant of 'Lochlie' farm in Ayrshire. Rabbie came there at the age of eighteen and helped his father on the farm until his death in 1784. Robert Burns had to move away to Mossgiel Farm near Mauchline.

Official Tasting Notes

Nose: Bursting with fresh orchard fruit, apple, zesty orange and pear drops. Some brown sugar, toffee and vanilla fudge in the background.

Palate: Rich and sweet, with burnt caramel and hazelnuts. Still plenty of stewed fruit and now some toasted oats, cinnamon and clove coming through.

Finish: Medium mouth coating, holding on to that fresh fruit, cereal sweetness and gentle spice.

"For us, on the nose it is bursting with fresh orchard fruit and zesty orange, with vanilla fudge and a lovely cereal note in the background.

The palette is rich and sweet with burnt caramel and hazelnuts with a medium mouth coating to finish while still holding on to that fruit."

Master Blender John Campbell presented the whisky

Photos Courtesy Lochlea Distillery

Lochlea Five Year Old Release

Am Geburtstag des Frühromantikers Robert Burns erschien am 25.1.2024 eine limitierte weltweite Auflage von 2 000 Flaschen eines fünf Jahre gereiften Lochlea Single Malts. Destilliert hatte ihn damals Malcolm Rennie. Den Whisky komponierte allerdings John Campbell aus fünf Fässern, darunter zwei der allerersten Lochlea-Fasss-Füllung von August 2018:

  • First-fill Oloroso Sherry Cask

  • first-fill Bourbon Barrel

  • Double matuered Oloroso Sherry Hogshead, drei Jahre in einem Bourbon Barrel, zwei Jahre im Oloroso Fass

  • Double matured PX-Sherry, ein re-racked Bourbon wurde für 18 Monate in einem "fresh PX-Cask" nachgereift

  • First-fill Bourbon Barrel

Abgefüllt wurde das Vatting mit 50 % vol, ohne Kühlfiltrierung und ohne Zugabe von Zuckerkulör. Bei den Sherry Fässern handelt es sich um sogenannte Seasoned Casks.

John Campbell:

To mark our fifth anniversary milestone, we wanted to create a whisky that shows off the best of Lochlea spirit that has been matured in different styles of casks over the past half a decade.
We have carefully chosen these five casks that have matured our single malt to perfection, then vatted them together to create a unique bottling of Lochlea that we won’t replicate ever again – it’s an incredibly special dram to mark our first special milestone birthday.
As always with our whiskies, it’s made entirely from barley grown on our farm here at Lochlea.
In celebration of this special milestone, we felt it was fitting to release it on Burns Night as a nod to Robert Burns, who once worked the land that we rely on for our own barley and, ultimately, our final spirit.”


Zum Autor

Ernie - Ernst J. Scheiner ist der Herausgeber des Portals The Gateway to Distilleries Er dokumentiert über 150 Destillerien fotografisch von innen und beschreibt detailliert die Produktion der Whiskies. Seit seinem Studium an der University of Edinburgh befasst er sich mit dem Thema Whisky und publiziert in Fachmagazinen

wie Das Irland Journal, die Kleinbrennerei, Whisky Passion und The Highland Herold. Features und Stories erschienen in den Blogs whiskyexperts, whiskyfanblog und whiskyintelligence. Als Leiter der VHS Ingelheim führte, und nun als Whisk(e)y-Botschafter leitet er Destillations-Kollegs, Studienreisen und Whisky-Kultouren zu den Quellen des Whiskys.

0 Kommentare

Aktuelle Beiträge

Alle ansehen


bottom of page