Last year, it was held in Glasgow on 23-24 February 2019. The Whiskey Show Old & Rare 2019 I attended the whiskey show. I wanted to crown this whiskey show, where I tasted dozens of amazing expressions, with a tour of the distillery in the Lowland region, which also includes Glasgow, and I did a small Lowland tour.

In this article, I am talking about the Lowland region, one of the most important whiskey regions of Scotland in ancient times, and which is not spoken much today. Glenkinchie and Auchentoshan I will share my notes from distillery.

For detailed information about Scotland and the whiskey regions of Scotland you may take a look at my article. .


Lowland Territory

Lowland, one of the 6 whiskey regions of Scotland, is located in the south of Scotland and contains the two most important cities of the country, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

While the Lowland region was one of Scotland's most active whiskey producing regions in the early 1800s, it is now home to just 13 distilleries. Most of these distilleries produce Grain whiskey.

  • Ailsa Bay, Annandale, Auchentoshan, Blandnoch, Borders, Chain Pier, Clydeside, Daftmill
    Eden Mill, The Glasgow Distillery, Glenkinchie, Kingsbarns, Lindores Abbe…

The most prominent names among Lowland whiskeys, which are very limited in variety in our country: AuchentoshanGlenkinchie and Ailsa Mr..

In the old days, distillery in the Lowland region distilled their whiskeys 3 times, just like the Irish, but only Auchentoshan continues this tradition now.

Lowland whiskeys are known for their light, soft, dry and fruity character. 


Getting to the Lowland Region

As I mentioned at the beginning of my article, it is perhaps Scotland's easiest whiskey region in terms of transportation, as it includes Lowland, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

There are direct and non-stop flights to Edinburgh and Glasgow. You can choose one of the two cities depending on where you want to start your tour.

After your tour in Edinburgh or Glasgow, you can easily travel to the other city by train in about 1 hour.

I first went to London by plane, and from there (due to missing the plane) to Edinburgh by train. I provided transportation from Edinburgh to Glasgow with a private vehicle.

Train journeys in England and Scotland are so comfortable and enjoyable that I never regretted missing my flight to Edinburgh. During the train journey, I not only enjoy the scenery, but also have the opportunity to organize my travel notes and photos.


A little note: In this article, I describe the Lowland region from the perspective of “whisky”, but it is worth mentioning that this is a really great region from a touristic point of view. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow are cities where we can spend time with great pleasure and satisfy you in many ways! 


After a brief information about the Lowland region and transportation details, let's come to the distillery tours. On this trip, I had the chance to visit 2 distilleries in Lowland (Auchentoshan and Glenkinchie).

Newly opened in Glasgow due to a bit of a busy trip Clydeside and it's actually a Highland whiskey but only 20km north of Glasgow. Glengoyne Unfortunately, I could not go to the distillery. If you get the chance, I would definitely recommend stopping by.

Let me start my notes with the Glenkinchie distillery…

Glenkinchie

First of all, I would like to state that Glenkinchie has a special place for me as it is the first distillery I visited in Scotland. During the trip, I was almost fascinated by this distillery.

This admiration increased with my visits to different distilleries later on. Because when I did the comparison, I realized even better that Glenkinchie has a really nice distillery.

Founded in 1837 by brothers John and George Rate, the distillery is located approximately 25 km from the center of Edinburgh. Located in a wonderful area with lush trees and many farms, Glenkinchie is due to its proximity to the city. “Edinburgh Malt” Also known as. 

The Glenkinchie distillery takes its name from the “De Quincy” family, who owned the land at the time it was founded. Let me state that the word “glen” also means valley.

As soon as you start your tour in Glenkinchie, you will be greeted by a wonderful model that shows you in detail the entire whiskey production process at the distillery. 

This model is so realistic and detailed that you will have the chance to see each stage you will visit together with this model. This makes it much easier for you to understand the production process.

After this wonderful model, I went through the production stages one by one. Our guide was very successful in explaining. Here I would like to mention a few features that distinguish Glenkinchie from other distilleries.

Glenkinchie is a distillery noted for its long fermentation time that reveals intense fruity aromas and for having the largest stills on the island.

Wide retorts allow the liquid to come into contact with copper more during distillation, filtering heavy metals and increasing reflux (repeated distillation of alcohol evaporated in the retort) by cooling. Thus, lighter and “Lowland” kind of alcohol is released.

Most of the whiskey produced in Glenkinchie dimple leaves to be included in the blends. Along with Glenkinchie, Linkwood is another malt in Dimple's formula.

The most enjoyable part of the distillery tour was of course, as always, the tasting part at the end. Here I tasted the following expressions respectively:

  • Glenkinchie 12
  • Glenkinchie Distillers Edition
  • Glenkinchie Distillery Exclusive Bottling
  • Glenkinchie 24
  • In addition, 2 non-sales Duty-paid expressions for the distillery:
    • Glenkinchie 2001 Ex-Bourbon Cask Strength (%57,4 abv)
    • Glenkinchie 1988 Ex-Sherry Cask Strength (%58,8 abv)

Although I enjoy all the expressions I taste, I can say that I love the Distillers Edition, which is finished in Amontillado Sherry barrels, the Distillery Exclusive Bottling and Duty-paid expressions bottled exclusively for the distillery. Especially Ex-Sherry Cask Strength was amazing…

Finally, about Glenkinchie;

I think Glenkinchie distillery is one of the must-visit distilleries in Scotland. If this is your first time visiting a distillery, Glenkinchie will make a great first distillery.

Glenkinchie expressions and my tasting notes from this link you can take a look…


Auchentoshan

in Edinburgh With a tour of the Glenkinchie distillery After not leaving the whiskey bar and shop, Glasgow was next. My purpose of going to Glasgow was to attend The Whiskey Show Old & Rare 2019. Before moving on to the show, I stopped by the Auchentoshan distillery on the way.

Auchentoshan may be one of the hardest whiskey brands to pronounce. This word meaning "corner of the field" “O-kin-tosh-hin” pronounced as.

Auchentoshan distillery, which belongs to the Japanese Suntory group, which includes brands such as Bowmore, Jim Beam and Ardmore, is 18 km from Glasgow.

Founded in 1823, Auchentoshan stands out as Scotland's only 3-time distillery. You can also use these separating features in one corner of the distillery. “Distilled different” emphasizing the slogan.

“What is the point of 3 distillation, is 3 distillation better than 2 distillation?” I can hear you asking questions like: Let me answer right away:

According to Auchentoshan, repeating the distillation process 3 times is critical to produce a purer and smoother drink. Likewise, the brand states that this is the secret of their fruity and easy-drinking whiskeys.

Auchentoshan damıtma işlemini 3 kez yaptığı için, bu süreç sonunda %80 gibi oldukça yüksek alkol oranına sahip bir new spirit ortaya çıkıyor. Birçok damıtımevinde new spirit’in alkol seviyesinin %60 civarında olduğunu belirteyim.

%80 alkol oranına sahip new make spirit

If you were to ask my opinion on this matter, traditionally, continuing the distillation process 3 times, I think it is used more as a marketing material than the whiskey that is intended to be produced…

After a long sharing of information about the distillation process, we went to the warehouse where the barrels are located and from there to the tasting area to see the maturation stage.

I tasted 4 expressions of the brand in the tasting section. These are respectively;

  • Auchentoshan American Oak
  • Auchentoshan 12
  • Auchentoshan 18
  • Auchentoshan 21

Here are my favorites among 4 expressions, with easy and balanced drinking Auchentoshan 12 and has a much fuller and fuller character compared to other expressions Auchentoshan 21 I can say it happened. 

As with every distillery tour, I made the final in the gift shop. I can say that there are very pleasant products in the shop of the Auchentoshan distillery. I especially loved the metal glasses I bought to use in the camp.


Finally, about my trip to the Lowland region;

  • I recommend you to spend at least 3-4 days in Edinburgh. In addition to being a haven for whiskey lovers, Edinburgh is also a beautiful city to visit as a tourist!
  • Glenkinchie is a must see distillery in my opinion. I can recommend all whiskey lovers to visit without hesitation.
  • Tastes and colors are of course indisputable, but for me Edinburgh is a much more impressive city than Glasgow. However, it would be beneficial to spare at least 2 days for Glasgow.
  • If you have the opportunity, be sure to stop by the Clydeside and Glengoyne distilleries.
  • Both Edinburgh and Glasgow have great whiskey bars you can go to. In particular, these cities “Whiskey Bars” I will write the article as soon as possible.

You may also like;

For my notes from my trip to the whiskey capital, Speyside…

“All About Scotch Whiskeys” article…

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