Lochead

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

Lochead Distillery, Campbeltown.

CAMPBELTOWN is a pleasant place in summer for those who rejoice in a boundless sea, plenty of boating, fishing and golfing. Before visiting Lochead we drove out to the Salt Pans five miles distant, a favourite resort of the Campbeltonians who visit it in crowds during the summer months, and which possesses a golfing ground, said to be the best and most extensive in Scotland. At the time of our visit a party of Oxford students were playing a match with the Club, among whom we described many of our friends the Distillers who are noted champions at the game. We returned home very unwillingly, being loth to leave the animating scene, passing on our way many familiar races bound for the spot we had left behind. On reaching the Hotel we found our luncheon waiting, and all three of us fell to with a hearty good will. We were comfortably entertained at the White Hart during our stay, and both the landlord and his good wife did everything in their power to render our visit both comfortable and agreeable. Their horses and traps were the best we had used during our tour, and would be a credit to any city hiring establishment. After our meal, we walked to Lochead, another of the few old-fashioned Distilleries, remnants of the romantic smuggling days. It is built on the banks of the Lochead Burn and close to the Kinloch Park, and was there erected in 1824. As you enter the enclosure you observe an air of antiquity round and about you. There is a small swift stream running through the works into the sea, and a large burn outside. What was once a cluster of old houses and an ancient mill, with doubtless several illicit stills, is now a licensed Distillery; and time has indeed dealt leniently with its old stone walls and fences. The establishment has now absorbed the whole four corners of a block covering two and a half acres of ground.

The four old-fashioned Barley Lofts, or as they used to call them Granaries, are situated at the south-east end of the work. There are four Malt Floors with three Steeps; two Kilns, with the patent German tile flooring, where peat only is used in the drying, good Malt Stores and Mill Room, and the Mash Tun is said to be the largest in Campbeltown. There is also a ten horse power steam engine, a very large Boiler, steam pump, eight Washbacks each holding 8,000 gallons, a Wash Charger and two Pot Stills heated by steam holding 3,300 and 1,800 gallons respectively; two Receivers each containing 1,600 gallons, and three Heaters. The Coolers are in the open, and stretch right across the burn. There is also a Morton’s refrigerator. Adjoining the Granaries there is a capital Spirit Store with a Vat of 2,000 gallons capacity. There are also five warehouses capable of stowing some 3,000 casks.

The Whisky made here is Campbeltown Malt, and finds a market chiefly in Glasgow. The annual output is 111,000 gallons.

The Chief Excise Officer is Mr. Hammett.