Littlemill Distillery, by Bowling, Dumbartonshire.
THIS Distillery (Littlemill) is planted at the base of the Kilpatrick Hills, on the banks of the Clyde, and is close by Bowling Railway Station. It is twelve miles from Glasgow, on the North British Railway, and a quarter of a mile from the Forth and Clyde Canal. The locality abounds in charming landscapes not unlike Richmond on the River Thames. The quiet beauty of the hill slopes and wooded plantations, the hedges covered with summer roses, and the numerous mountain rills, has made this place the favourite resort of artists, whilst at the front flows the great river, with its nautical stir, and the Bowling Bay, with its wharves and shipping, giving life to the scene.
The Distillery is a very old work, having been built about the year 1800, but considerably improved and enlarged by the late Mr. Hay in 1875 to meet the increased demand for his product. The Whisky is Malt only, and the peat used in drying is brought from Stornoway and Perthshire ; the water comes from a shady glen away up in the Kilpatrick Hills, and is brought down to a reservoir close by.
There are four Malt Barns, one of them being 131 feet long and 21 feet wide, with Steeps of a proportionate size. The Granaries are on the upper floors of the Malt Barns; in the latter they make upwards of 3,000 bushels of Malt weekly, and there is a Kiln at each end of the buildings, with wire flooring capable of drying the same quantity. The Mash Tun mashes 350 bushels at one time; there are eight Washbacks, holding over 5,000 gallons each. Three Pot Stills are in use, the largest containing 4,000 gallons. Two of them are Low Wines Stills, one containing 1,500 gallons and the other of smaller capacity. The two Brewing Vats will each hold 2,000 gallons. The machinery in the Distillery is worked by a twenty horse power steam engine, and additional power is obtained by a water wheel, which is so arranged that they can work together, or separately; the steam boiler is 30 feet long and 8 feet in diameter. The Vat in which the products of the Stills are collected is capable of holding 3,500 gallons.
There are four Duty free Warehouses holding 6,500 casks and there is a compact little cooperage employing two men all the year round.
The Whisky is sent to England, Ireland, India and the Colonies. The Firm has a Warehouse at 36, Douglas Street, Glasgow, where they blend, rack, and bottle for home use and exportation. The annual output is 150,000 gallons.