The Clydeside Distillery

The Old Pumphouse,

Queen's Dock,


History: On November 23 last year, after years of planning, The Clydeside Distillery opened its doors for the first time. The distillery and visitor centre is located in Glasgow's historic Queen's Dock, a stone's throw from the SECC and Transport museum. It has been built on the site of a old pump house that dates back to 1877. The project to bring whisky back to the banks of The Clyde after 100 years was spearheaded by Morrison Glasgow Distillers. This was always going to be the location they wanted as chairman Tim Morrison is the great-grandson of John Morrison, who originally built The Queen’s Dock back in 1877. As well has having top whisky-making credentials, the owners also own the award-winning AD Rattray Scotch Whisky Company, who create some of the best independent bottlings of Scotch you will find.

The Whisky: As you know it takes a minimum of three years in oak casks before you can even call it Scotch whisky and most don’t even touch it until it is at least 10 years old. The owners were keen to work with industry legend Dr Jim Swan before he sadly passed away last year. Dr Jim worked with the world's best distilleries to create the desired flavour profile that would define the distilleries' house style. Here at The Clydeside they have tried to create a spirit that stays true to the lowland region – light and accessible – but they also want the whisky to be fruity in flavour. With the experience they have across the board here there is no doubt in my mind that this whisky, once ready, is going to be a stunner. In the meantime get yourself down for a tour.

Why Visit?: With Glasgow Distillery just down the road in Hillington and plans for one across the river in Pacific Quay, Glasgow is seeing its distilling heritage brought back to life after 140 years. They have spent a lot of money to create an interactive tour that celebrates the area's rich history of distilling and transporting whisky across the world. For £15 you start with a self-guided tour around the centre, discovering fascinating tales about the birth of the whisky industry and some of Glasgow's own history. Then a tour guide will take you through the process itself before you get to sample three excellent drams chosen by their parent company AD Rattray.

Interesting fact: While this is a first-ate visitor centre, they are not leaving the spirit as an after-thought. Before opening they hired Alistair McDonald as their distillery manager. Alastair has over 30 years of distilling experience while working at the iconic Bowmore distillery on Islay and more recently running the show at nearby Auchentoshan distillery. So I would be very excited to see and taste the whisky that comes form here once they decide it is ready.

Follow me on twitter @andydrink or on Facebook