Littlemill Lowland WhiskyThe stills at the Littlemill distillery fell into perpetual silence in 1994, only to be sold to the Loch Lomond Distillery Company and subsequently dismantled shortly after. A fire in September of that same year sealed Littlemill's fate. The distillery had closed a decade prior, but reopened in 1989 following the acquisition by Gibson International. Although technically a Lowland distillery, Littlemill, like its fellow Lowlander Auchentoshan, draws its waters from above the Highland line, from a spring in the Kilpatrick hills.
There are rumours that Littlemill is Scotland’s oldest distillery, possibly even the oldest in the world. Of course, such things are hard to say for certain, though Littlemill has indeed had a long history. The site may have been used for distillation as early as the 1300s. The Colquhouns built Dunglas Castle as a means of watching over the River Clyde crossing. The buildings lie between the River Clyde and the railway line; the nearest station being at Bowling. The distillery proper was founded in 1772 by George Buchanan of Glasgow following the acquisition of the Auchterlonie estate. As did many a Lowland distillery, Littlemill practised triple distillation, though this was abandoned in the 1930s.
A new set of stills were installed, though of a very unusual design; each had a rectifying column at the neck, more like those used for grain distillation. It was thought that the spirit produced in this way would proffer a speedy maturation. There were also experiments made with heavily peated and completely unpeated malts; these were released as Dumbuck and Dunglas respectively, the latter released in 2003, though originally intended to be used as a blending component. The stocks of Littlemill have yet to run dry and there are both official and independent releases.