Springbank Distillery, Campbeltown.
AFTER leaving Hazelburn we accepted the offer of a drive, from one of the Distillers who coached us along the sea coast, that we might inhale the bracing sea air and shake off the fatigue of a long day. The next morning we commenced our visitations at Springbank, which Distillery is situated in the heart of the Whisky City, and stands in its own grounds of upwards of ten acres. The buildings, which cover three acres, have a frontage to the street of 600 feet, and at the back there is a small grass park. The Distillery was built in the year 1828, by the father-in-law of one of the present proprietors, and is more conveniently arranged than some of the old works. The establishment is built in the form of a quadrangle, and there is only one gateway. On entering the enclosure the Brewer took us in hand, and we first visited the two Granaries, each 100 feet long and 44 feet wide; and then the four Malt Floors, which are of the same dimensions. Three of these floors each contain a Steep capable of wetting 80 quarters at one time. The malt when properly germinated is raised to the kiln floors by means of a steam lift and hand elevators. The two Kilns are contiguous to the Maltings; they are large and lofty, and floored with English perforated tiles. Peat is principally used in drying the malt, and the furnaces are both enclosed. We next passed on to the Malt Deposit, and from thence to the Mill, which contains the usual malt rollers and machinery driven by steam. The ground malt is raised to the Grist-loft by elevators, and when required is shot into hoppers over the mash-tun. Following our guide we reached the Mash-house, a lofty building as clean as whitewash and paint could make it, containing a metal Mash-tun, 14 feet in diameter by 5 feet deep, an Underback, a huge Heating Tank off hot water, and a Morton’s Refrigerator. Passing through this apartment we came to the Tun-room, wherein are to be seen seven Washbacks, each holding 6,000 gallons, and a Wash-charger of 7,000 gallons capacity. Descending a few steps we retraced our way to the Still-house, where we were shown three Pot Stills, holding 3,000, 1,700, and 1,500 gallons respectively, whilst on an elevation were placed the Chargers and Receivers, and at the back the Worm-tub. In close proximity to the Mash-house there is a capital 16 horse-power Steam Engine, and a Boiler 21 feet long by 6½ feet in diameter; also a small Cooperage and Cask-shed, and good Offices for the Distillers and Excise Clerks.
The Distillery is about half a mile from the pier and the water used in the works for all purposes comes from the Crosshill Loch. Fifteen persons are employed on the premises, and three excise officers, the chief being Mr. A. M. O’Brien.
The make is Campbeltown Malt, and the annual output is 145,000 gallons, which is principally sold in London and Glasgow.