Linkwood Distillery, Elgin.
THE next morning we drove out to Linkwood, distant about two miles. Our way lay along a pleasant country road, amid smiling hedgerows and hay-fields. The Distillery is embosomed in woods, hence its name, and was rebuilt in 1873 by the present proprietor.
Mr. George McBain, the manager, conducted us over the premises, and directed our steps first of all to the Granaries. They are stone built, of two floors, the upper portion being divided into three Barley Lofts. One of them is 100 feet long by 21 feet broad, and capable of holding 1,200 quarters. Underneath are two Malting Barns, measuring 130 and 100 feet long respectively, each is 21 feet broad, and at either end are the Steeps, capable of wetting 30 quarters at one time. In close proximity is the Kiln, a neat building, 25 feet square, floored with wire cloth, and heated with peat. To reach this floor we climbed two pairs of stairs, and found ourselves on a level with the Malt Deposit, which takes up the entire roof of one of the Barley Barns, and communicates direct with the Kiln. We next descended to the first landing and came to the Mill, which is an elevated chamber, in the lofty Mash House, and contains one pair of Malt Cylinders. The ground malt falls from thence through a Steel’s Mashing Machine into the Tun below.
The Mash House is a well-lighted stone building with paved floor. It is 48 feet long and 24 feet broad, and contains a Mash Tun, 12 feet in diameter, and 3½ feet deep. The Heating Copper, holding 1,000 gallons, which supplies the Tun with hot water, as well as the Underback, are also in this house. The latter is a timber vessel, holding 600 gallons, and is sunk in the floor below. The worts are pumped from the Underback to the Coolers, which cover the roofs of the Tun Room, Spirit Store, and Coal Shed.
We then passed into the Tun Room, which is the same height and dimensions as the Mash House, and contains five Washbacks, each holding 3,200 gallons and at the end a Yeast Store. Continuing our progress we came to the Still House, which is in the centre of the block, and is a lofty and light apartment. Here on a gallery is the Wash Charger, Low-wines and Feints Charger, and Receiver, and on the ground-level two Pot Stills; the Wash Still holding 2,000 gallons, and the Spirit Still 1,850 gallons, heated by open furnaces, and the Safe and Spirit Receiver.
We next bent our steps to the central court, where is placed the Spirit Store, containing a Vat with a capacity of 1,850 gallons; and three large Bonded Warehouses, holding together 2,000 casks; also a Racking Store, Manager’s and Public Offices, and the Excise Offices.
The water used for mashing is brought from the Black Hills, six miles distant. At the back of the Distillery are the Cart Sheds, Stabling, &c., also the Burnt Ale Tank.
The Whisky is Highland Malt, and the annual output 50,000 gallons.