Glenfarclas Glenlivet Distillery, Ballindaloch, Banff.
OUR journey to Glenfarclas was a longer affair than we expected, for what seems near in mountain scenery may be, after all a very long way of. Beautiful the prospect certainly was not; for without the soft magic of green hills, woodlands, and the river meandering the verdant meadow, no scene can deserve the qualification; nevertheless, if unlovely, all was strange, gigantic, and sublime. It was a most peculiar day, a languid sunshine pervaded the hazy atmosphere, creating a vagueness in the landscape. The mist stole in and out the crags and buttresses of Benrinnes, and every now and then, when it lifted, the higher peaks were just visible, like tiny black islands, against which the misty billows rose and fell. We were fascinated by this weird sight, as, with the exception of the distant views of the valley of the Spey, there was nothing else to claim our attention on this lonely waste. We could see Glenfarclas for miles before we reached it, standing isolated at the base of Benrinnes. So unlike is it to a Distillery, that without the tall chimney stack we should have taken it for a scattered farm-holding.
Glenfarclas was established in the year 1836, and the buildings cover three acres of ground. After resting a short time, we began our inspection of the establishment at the Barley Barn, which is situated on the left-hand side of the office, and is capable of holding 1,200 to 1,500 quarters of barley. Contiguous is the Malt Barn, 200 feet long by 15 feet wide, possessing a Steep capable of wetting 50 quarters of barley at one time. At the end of these buildings stands the Kiln, which is floored with wire cloth and heated with peat, and is connected with the Malt Deposit and Mill.
On the east side of the Kiln is the Brewing House, containing a Mash Tun capable of mashing about 100 to 120 bushels, and an Underback. Passing through this House, we come to the Tun Room, wherein are six Washbacks, and over these, on a large flat in the roof, are the Coolers for cooling the worts. Opposite the Brewing House is the Still House, containing a Wash Still and Low-wines Still - both of the old Pot kind. After leaving this house, we inspected the seven Warehouses, which are all situated on the west and south sides of the Distillery, which, at the time of our visit, contained 2,000 casks. In the courtyard there is a Cooperage, Cart Sheds, and Stables. The water used comes from several springs on Benrinnes, and the make is pure Highland Malt, the annual output being 50,000 gallons.