distillery lies near the town of Pencaitland about 18
kilometres southeast of Edinburgh. The distillery was
founded by the two local farmers and brothers George and
John Rate. They had produced modest amounts of whisky
for several years ‘on the side’ but increased capacity
in 1825. At the same time they properly named their
distillery and chose to call it the Milton Distillery.
However in 1837 they renamed the distillery to
Glenkinchie, probably because the Strathisla Distillery
was also called Milton Distillery at the time. The name
Glenkinchie is derived from the glen of the Kinchie Burn
which flows through the town.
The Rate brothers were bankrupted in 1853 and the
distillery was bought by another farmer who used
Glenkinchie as a cowshed and for sawmilling. In 1881 he
sold it to a consortium from Edinburgh which after a few
years formed the Glenkinchie Distillery Co Ltd. The
distillery was renovated in 1891 and the company at the
same time built housing for the workers. During a crisis
in the whisky industry connected to WW1 they joined with
four other Lowland Distilleries and formed the Scottish
Malt Distillers. Of the five distilleries only
Glenkinchie remains today; the Grange, Clydelsdale, St
Magdalene and Rosebank distilleries have all been closed.
Glenkinchie is included in the Six Classic Mats range
marketed by Diageo and is a highly appreciated Lowland
whisky. The Distillers Edition bottlings have been
finished in amontillado sherry casks.
Glenkinchie 10 år 43%
Glenkinchie 12 år Friends of classic
Glenkinchie Distillers Edition 1989
Glenkinchie Distillers Edition 1987
Glenkinchie Distillers Edition 1986
Uses double distillation
in spite of being a Lowland distillery. Has two of the
largest stills in Scotland.
draw their water from a source at the Lammermuir Hills
which also feeds the Kinchie Burn. They used to malt
their own barley up until 1968 when the malting facility
was converted into a museum (the Museum of Malt Whisky).
The malt is currently bought from Roseisle Maltings in
the north east of Scotland. The malt is ground to grist
in a Porteus mill before it is filled into the steel
mash tun. The fermentation takes place in six washbacks
made from Oregon pine.
Since Glenkinchie is a Lowland distillery you might
expect them to triple distil their whisky as tradition
dictates, but Glenkinchie is only distilled in one pair
of stills. The two stills are unusually lantern shaped
and among the largest in Scotland; the wash still holds
21 000 litres ant the spirit still holds 17 200 litres.
The whisky is filled into both bourbon and sherry casks
which are stored in warehouses on site.
The annual production capacity of Glenkinchie is 1.6
million litres. Bottling is done outside of Glasgow in
East Lothian, EH34 5ET
Visitors: The visitor centre is open
November-March Monday-Friday 12am-4pm. Easter-October
Monday-Saturday 10am-3pm and Sunday 12am-5pm. The guided
tours start every half hour and the last tour begins one
hour before closing time. The tour costs £4 and the amount is refundable on purchase in the gift shop. The
visitor centre also houses the Museum of Malt Whisky
which among many other things exhibits a model of a malt
distillery that was made for the impressive British
Empire Exhibition of 1924-25. A must-see!
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