Scotland’s most southerly distillery has a chequered past, but a bright future. Purchased by Australian David Prior in 2015, this Lowland distillery restarted distillation in 2017 and is currently releasing limited edition whiskies using old casks filled before Bladnoch fell silent.

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Founded in 1817, Bladnoch has an echoing connection with Northern Ireland. The distillery was sold in 1911 by the founding McLelland family to the Belfast based whisky merchant Dunville & Co., who made their own whiskey in Ireland but were in need of stocks of Scotch to fulfil customer demand.

Unfortunately Dunville's made bad investments and in the face of crippling costs were unable to offer houses to persuade workers to take a job at the isolated distillery. Bladnoch foundered and Dunville's went into liquidation in 1937, having only distilled during one year (1930) since 1926.

Worse was to come, with the distillery's two stills being sold to a Swedish distiller by new owners Ross & Coulter during a silent period that lasted until 1956. The distillery was bought and the stills replaced in that year by A.B. Grant, the first of several new owners in the next three decades. After a 10-year period under the stewardship of Inver House, Bladnoch was sold to Arthur Bell in 1983. When Bell's was absorbed by UDV, Bladnoch came full circle when it was sold to another Northern Irishman, Raymond Armstrong, in 1993 - on condition that no distillation take place at the site.

Armstrong bought the distillery with a view to converting it into a guest house, but changed his mind, and in 2000, finally persuaded Diageo to allow him to recommence production. Bladnoch have released various well-received expressions of older stocks to maintain cashflow, and in 2008 unveiled the first bottlings of their own spirit distilled since the takeover - a trio of boisterous 6 year-olds of differing peat levels and cask types.

Sadly, in March 2014, the Northern Irish company that owned Bladnoch went into liquidation, but David Prior, who made his fortune with Australian yoghurt brand five:am, bought Bladnoch in 2015, along with 2,500 casks of stock.

Character and Style of Bladnoch

  • Butter Butter
  • Grass Grass
  • Cream Cream

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