The Glasgow Distillery

Deanside Road, Glasgow

History: Records show The Glasgow distillery company being in the city around the year 1770. Back then, the whisky trade was booming and it is thought that at this time there would have been around 150 illegal distilleries in the city alone. Over the next couple of centuries, Scotch whisky went through a real roller coaster of a journey, falling in and out of favour with the public. In 2011 the owners of The Glasgow Distillery company started planning what would become the first new distillery in Glasgow in more than a century and in 2014 they saw their dream become a reality. The distillery is located in Hillington, and the company's vision is to create craft products the city can be proud of. By law, whisky has to be aged for a minimum of years. In reality, it's usually aged for much longer. Gin is different. And over the last four years, this distillery has developed a reputation for being one of the most innovative producers of the spirit in Scotland.

The gin: Makar Gin – named after the Gaelic word for "poet" or "bard" – was the first brand to come out of the distillery. Here, it's produced in a 450-litre copper still, imported from Carl Distilleries in Germany and affectionately known as Annie. Seven botanicals are used, including juniper, angelica root, liquorice, coriander seed, lemon peel, rosemary, black peppercorns and cassia bark. They have also launched three more versions of the gin: an oaked-aged; a Mulberry oak aged which has spent 10 weeks in bespoke 50-litre virgin mulberry wood casks; and lastly the Old Tom version, which is based on a classic recipe.

The whisky: They sell a brand call Prometheus which is not made here but bottled by the company. It described as a “a very rare single malt from Speyside” and the exact distillery of origin is kept secret. Though I've not been lucky enough to taste it, I have heard that it is pretty good stuff if you can get a hold of it. I would imagine their own whisky will be on its way in the coming years.

Geek alert: If you are serious about whisky then you can join The 1770 Club, which allows members to buy their own cask filled with new-make spirit straight from the still and have it stored in their bonded warehouse in Glasgow for a minimum of three years and a day.

Why visit? Unfortunately the distillery is not open to the public unless you book a tour ahead but it is certainly worth it. I have been lucky enough to visit a couple of times and learned more here in an afternoon than I did at some of the more traditional distilleries.

Interesting fact: The seven sides to the Makar bottle represent the seven botanicals which "perfectly complement the world’s finest Juniper which lies at the heart of Makar". The makers suggest that their G&T is best served with a green chilli as a garnish – which, believe it or not, actually works.

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