Gleniffer

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

Gleniffer Distillery, near Paisley, Renfrewshire.

CONTINUING our pilgrimage, we again took train at Paisley, and after a run of about twenty minutes found ourselves at the town of Johnstone, where we were supplied with a dog-cart and a fast stepper. The drive of some two or three miles on a bright summer day, with a perfume of hawthorn scenting the air, smiling hedgerows, and rich plantations thick with foliage, was far too short, and lingers on our memory still.

Gleniffer Distillery is situated on the slopes of the Gleniffer Braes, a beautifully wooded range of hills. These braes are sacred to the memory of the poet Tannahill, and they inspired him to write -

Keen blaws the wind o’er the braes o’ Gleniffer,The auld castle turrets are cover’d wi’ snaw;How chang’d frae the time when I met wi’ my lover,Among the broom bushes by Stanley green shaw.The wild flowr’s o’ summer were spread a’ sae bonnie,The mavis gang sweet frae the green birken tree;But far to the Camp they hae march’d my dear Johnnie,An’ now it is winter wi’ nature an’ me.

These braes were his Sunday and week day haunts, and a great many of his poems were composed and written there. From their heights can be seen the river Clyde, the Grampians, and a boundless expanse of plaid and valley. The Distillery is ten miles from Glasgow, and was built in the year 1834. It is embowered and almost hidden among trees, which in summer are covered with the most luxuriant foliage, and sloping flower gardens, which extend almost to the very doors of the Granaries. There is a bright sparkling burn flowing swiftly over miniature waterfalls, which, running through the Distillery grounds, drives the Mill Wheel. The works are old fashioned and quaintly built, and consist of two large Barley Barns, Malting Houses, a Mill Building, with two pairs of stones, a Mash House, Tun Room, and Still House, in the latter of which are two old Pot Stills. There are three Warehouses, containing a quantity of Whisky in bond, one of them a new building; capital stabling, cart sheds, and other outhouses. The water used for distilling purposes comes from the Glen Burn, which rises at the top of the Gleniffer Braes. Peat only is used in drying.

The Whisky is pure Malt, and the annual output is 70,000 gallons.