Littlemill and Loch Lomond: From Illicit Stills in Bothies and Barns to the Great Bonded Warehouses of the Industrial Age, This Part of Scotland Has Played a Key Role in the Story of Whisky.
Loch Lomond marks the boundary between the Lowlands and the Highlands of Scotland. This area - so close to the major bottling town of Dumbarton - has been at the heart of the whisky industry for centuries. Sadly though, at least nine distilleries around the Loch have been lost over the years, leaving Loch Lomond Distillers to maintain a proud local tradition into the 21st century.
Our own story began in 1772, with the founding of the Littlemill distillery on the site of an old brewery, at Dunglass Castle in Bowling. It is possibly the oldest distillery in Scotland with distilling at this site dating back to the 14th century. It is a few miles from the loch itself with its water source being the Auchentorlie Burn.
The distillery changed hands several times before it was acquired by an American gentleman named Duncan Thomas. He lived in the former exciseman's house at Littlemill for a while, and went on to build the new Loch Lomond Distillery in Alexandria which is now our home.
The inspiration for the Loch Lomond Distillery comes from the physical beauty of the Highland region in which it is sited. The magnificent Ben Lomond mountain towers above the loch and looks down on the distillery. Its history is steeped in the 7 Celtic Clans that touched Loch Lomond, including the clans of Colquhoun, Mcfarlane, Galbraith, MacAulay (2), Menzies and Buchanan.
Loch Lomond distillery opened in 1964, with production beginning the following year. In 1984 the distillery closed - or fell silent, to use the traditional term. Happily though, Alexander Bulloch and the Glen Catrine company acquired the business and resumed malt production in 1987. Grain whisky production began in 1993 and two new malt stills were added in 1999.
At the time the Grain distillery opened in 1994, it was the only distillery in Scotland producing both Grain and Malt whisky. It also operates a unique set-up of three sets of stills.
“IT IS A LOCATION SO FAMOUS FOR IT’S NATURAL BEAUTY, THAT EVEN THOSE WHO HAVE YET TO ENJOY OUR WHISKY ALREADY HAVE OUR NAME ON THEIR LIPS”