Lochruan

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

Lochruan Distillery, Campbeltown.

THIS Distillery derives its name from a loch embedded amidst the hills two miles north-east from the town. The term “Lochruan” means the red loch, “rua” being the Gaelic word for red, and to anyone who has visited the locality when the beautiful autumnal tints of the heather are mirrored on the placid water, the appropriateness of the name is at once apparent. We found it a weird, romantic place, and not easily accessible. Upon one side there is a great black hill, which seems to frown upon you, even in the sunshine. Upon the other there towers a hill more variegated in aspect, while the extremities are bounded by somewhat lower but rugged ground. The loch, emanating chiefly from springs, is very deep. Old legends say it is bottomless, and that at eventide it is haunted by beautiful spirits, who by their incantations on the waters freed for a year from all bodily ailments the first mortal who thereafter chanced to partake of the consecrated stream. This distilled dew of the mountains, clear as crystal and refreshing as the nectar of the gods, freely circulates over the northern portion of the town, conferring a boon and a blessing wherever it flows.

The Lochruan Distillery is situated at the base of the hills leading up to the loch. It was built in the year 1835, and about twenty years ago came into the hands of the present proprietors, by whom it was extended and improved. It is about three hundred yards from Campbeltown Quay, and close to Kinloch Park. It commands a side view of the bar, and covers nearly two acres of ground. The works consist of two large Granaries, four Malt-barns, each 86 feet by 27 feet; two good-sized Kilns, each 36 feet by 27 feet, with tiled floors, where peat only is used in the drying, mill house and stores; a Mash-tun, 16 feet in diameter by 4½ feet deep, with patent revolving machinery, a 16-horse power steam engine, and a boiler 20 feet by 6½ feet in diameter. In the Tun-room, which is 58 feet long, 30 wide, and 34 high, and lighted by ten windows, there are seven Washbacks, each containing 6,708 gallons ; two Wash Chargers, two heaters, and a large Morton’s Refrigerator. The Still and Mash House is a lofty building, measuring 70 feet by 28 feet, with paved floor and whitewashed walls, and contains three old Pot Stills, holding 3,245, 1,835, and 1,785 gallons respectively, three Receivers, a patent safe, and a steam pump. Above the roof of the adjoining building there is a cooler, and next door a Spirit Store with a vat which holds 1,900 gallons. Distributed about the premises are five large warehouses, containing at the time of our visit over 2,000 casks. The Whisky is Campbeltown Malt, and the annual output is 85,000 gallons.

The Lochruan Whisky owes its reputation to the peculiar excellence of the water, and the care exercised in the manufacture. The Whisky is sold principally London, Glasgow, and the Colonies. There are twelve persons employed in the works. The chief officer of Excise is Mr. L. M. MacDonald.

Images of Lochruan