Historic day for Annan Distillery
It will be whisky galore at one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries in Dumfriesshire this month.
The first bottle of single malt Scotch whisky for 99 years at Annandale Distillery will be filled on Wednesday, November 15, marking an historic moment for the Northfield site in Annan.
It will be the end of a three-year wait for Dumfries-born owner Professor David Thomson and his wife Teresa since they helped distillery manager Malcolm Rennie fill the first oak cask with 200 litres of pure spirit back in 2014.
They are looking forward to broaching the coveted cask no 2014/001 and will draw off a bottle of Man O’ Words – the distillery’s unpeated single malt, described as “a fruity, nonpeaty expression inspired by Rabbie Burns.”
Whisky aficionados are expecting Man O’Words to be light in colour, have soft tones and a subtle palate.
The other whisky sitting in casks at the distillery is Man O’ Sword (named after Robert The Bruce) and will be a peated malt and darker in colour.
The distillery was established in 1836, before going through three periods of ownership including being run by Johnnie Walker distillery.
But the First World War put an end to the distillery and by December 1918 it was closed and the empty buildings sold to a nearby farm in 1924.
David and Teresa read about the site in 2006 and bought it the following year. A £10.5 million restoration has created the modern whisky production plant which is sympathetic to the original distillery with its restored buildings and was officially opened by Princess Anne in 2015.
Distilling began in November 2014 with the first spirit of the new generation running off the stills at the end of that year – bringing whisky making back to Dumfriesshire.
As it takes a minimum of three years to formally become Scotch Whisky, visitors to the distillery and online have only been able to buy its popular Rascally Liquor new-make spirit since.
However, following the milestone first bottle drawn, Professor Thomson says that more will be released in December, presented as “Early release of First Production” and orders are being taken on the distillery’s website.
He said: “We will be releasing two casks for our first production of unpeated single malt whisky (casks no 2014/033 and 2014/037) and two casks from our first production of peated single malt whisky (casks no 2014/066 and 2014/071).
“We anticipate approximately 240 sequentially numbered bottles of cask strength whisky from each cask. This represents an extremely rare opportunity for enthusiasts and collectors to acquire a bottle of “first production” from a single malt Scotch whisky distillery.”
First bottle in 99 years David Thomson, wife Teresa and distillery manager Malcolm Rennie