Ardlussa

The below is taken from The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom by Alfred Barnard first published in 1887.

Ardlussa Distillery, Campbeltown.

THE morning of our visit to Ardlussa broke ominously, and the rain poured down in torrents. Fortunately, the establishment is only ten minutes from the Hotel; so we donned our waterproofs and umbrellas, and thus equipped, marched forth defying the elements. We were much impressed with Ardlussa; it is one of the newest works in the town, and was built in 1879.

We first inspected the Maltings, which consist of a spacious building 180 feet long by 48 feet wide and nearly 40 feet high, divided into three flats; the top is the granary floor, and contains in its centre two Steeps, from which, by means of valves, the wetted barley can be dropped on to the floor below. Underneath are two Malt-barns with concreted floors, from which the malt, when properly grown, is raised by elevators to the Kiln, which is floored with perforated tiles. The Malt-deposit adjoins the Kiln, and underneath is the Mill, containing a pair of malt crushers and the usual machinery. We next followed our guide into the adjoining building, which is the Mash House. It is a lofty and light apartment, kept beautifully clean, and contains a metal Mash-tun, 15 feet in diameter and 6 feet deep, possessing the usual stirring rakes. The ground malt falls from a hopper above in the Grist-loft , from thence direct through a Mashing Machine into the Tun, so that no sacks are required. Most of the work in the Distillery is accomplished by gravitation, thus saving manual labour. The worts are pumped from the Tun to a number two Mash-tun in the roof, which vessel discharges the draff by gravitation. Our guide next drew attention to a Morton’s Refrigerator and a set of Coolers placed in the open, which latter cool 3,000 gallons in half an hour. In close proximity to the Brewing House there is a large Hall with open roof, and well lighted, called the Tun Room, where are placed six Wash-backs, each holding 8,200 gallons, and a Wash Charger of similar capacity. We then crossed over to the Still House, another fine building, which contains a Wash Still holding 18,000 gallons and a Spirit Still 3,560, one heated by steam, the other by fire. On a gallery are placed the usual Chargers, Receivers, and Safe, and in close proximity is a large Worm Tub. Retracing our steps, we reached the Spirit Store, 42 feet by 27, containing a Vat which holds 2,176 gallons, and afterwards visited the two large Bonded Warehouses. One of them is 195 feet long and 63 wide, the other 160 feet long and 48 wide; both possess handsome arched roofs, requiring neither pillars nor central supports, and at the time of our visit held 18,000 casks.

On the premises there is a small Cooperage, peat sheds, stables, and clerks offices. The Engine House contains a 15-horse power engine and a steam boiler 22 feet long by 7½ feet in diameter.

The make is called Campbeltown Malt, and the output for 1885 was 118,000 gallons. Mr. Hilly is the chief Excise Officer. The Public Offices of the Company are in Glasgow.