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Port Charlotte distillery


  1. History
  2. Data

Port Charlotte was the location of two nationally important whiskey distilleries, Lochindaal (also called Port Charlotte) and Octomore. Lochindaal was founded in 1829 and closed again 100 years later, Octomore was only operated between 1816 and 1852. The nearby Bruichladdich distillery is currently selling its own whiskies under the brand name Octomore (very heavily peated) and Port Charlotte (heavily peated). In 2007 Bruichladdich announced the reopening of the Port Charlotte distillery on the Lochindaal grounds, however the planned opening has been postponed indefinitely.


Port Charlotte village was founded in 1828 by Laird Walter Frederik Campbell of Shawfield and named to honour his mother. As was the fashion of Scotland’s feudal landowners at the time, he laid the site in 1828 to promote the crafts and fishing of the remote West Scottish region.

The distillery was founded in 1829 by Colin Campbell. Over the next 26 years, the company changed hands five times, until finally John B. Sherriff took over the distillery in 1855. In 1895 JB Sherriff & Co. Ltd. founded, which also owned shares in Lochhead Distillery in Campbeltown and Bowmore Distillery on Islay. In 1920 the Benmore distillery in Campbeltown Lochindaal took over, nine years later from Distillers Company Ltd (DCL) and the Lochindaal distillery closed that same year. The warehouses are still in use today.

In the row houses on the west bank of Loch Indaal lived the cooper, maltster, brewer and distiller from the distillery that his uncle Colin founded in 1829.The Fleer Matties malted the barley on the threshing floor for five days. The green malt dried in the kiln with peat smoke and fire. After fermentation in eight wooden vats, Stillmen distilled the beer under the supervision of a brewer in three direct-fired classic pot stills. From them gushed 127,068 gallons of smoky barley distillate per year, as the Whisky Chronicler Alfred Barnard reported in 1885/6. After the closure in 1929, the Islay Creamery used parts of the company premises. Up until the turn of the millennium, the dairy used Islay cow’s milk to produce a “tasty light cheddar”, which the locals said had aphrodisiac properties.

Port Charlotte factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Port Charlotte
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
- Present Port Charlotte Not Available
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group