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Distillery on Scots farm where Robert Burns lived set to bottle first whisky

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Distillery on Scots farm where Robert Burns lived set to bottle first whisky

Photo Credit: Daily Record

A distillery in Ayrshire where Robert Burns lived and worked is set to bottle its first-ever whisky.

The independently-owned distillery at the 222-acre Lochlea Farm near Tarbolton has been quietly distilling, casking, and maturing its inaugural release, which is due to be unveiled in late 2021.

Permission was first given for plans to build a whisky production site and visitor centre at the farm, which is known for being the home and workplace of Burns from 1777 to 1784, way back in 2014.

With work getting underway in 2017, the Lochlea Distillery team has since been working on creating a truly distinct whisky under the watchful eye of distillery manager and industry authority, Malcolm Rennie.

With 34 years in the whisky industry, Malcolm cut his teeth on Kilchoman, Bruichladdich and Ardbeg, but sees Lochlea Whisky as the result of his life’s work.

Referring to their plans to ensure full traceability from field to cask, Malcolm said this was vital for them, he said: “We grow and harvest our own barley on Lochlea farm with the resulting draff used to feed local cattle and the water is sourced on-site.

“We’ve been able to take advantage of Ayrshire’s natural resources and in doing so it keeps our carbon footprint to a minimum.”

The result of a £6m investment, construction of the purpose-built facility, from the groundwork and foundations, through to installation of the still house equipment, took four years to complete, with production of the liquid starting in August 2018 with the first casks filled and stock laid down in their on-site warehouse.

Ayrshire local and Lochlea Whisky commercial manager, David Ferguson, said: “Lochlea Whisky will carve out its own unique place in the industry. The new make spirit is bursting with orchard fruit and has a beautiful elegance way beyond its years.

“Lochlea Farm is deeply rooted in Scottish history and is known for being the home and work place of Robert Burns from 1777 to 1784.

“Burns is known for his honest, passionate and progressive nature and this has inspired some of Lochlea Distillery’s core values.”

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