New Ayrshire distillery to launch first whisky on Burns Night

A NEW Ayrshire distillery has revealed plans to launch is inaugural single malt Scotch whisky on Burns Night.

The debut dram from Lochlea Distillery comes some 245 years after Robert Burns arrived in the Ayrshire town. And the Lowland-style malt launches eight years after planning for the £6 million purpose-built distillery began.

The distillery has been developed on Lochlea Farm, which is understood to have been the home and workplace of Scotland’s national bard between 1777 and 1784. It began distilling, casking and maturing its whisky in 2018, using its own barley and natural water resources to ensure full traceability, from field to cask.

Lochlea’s first whisky, which has been bottled with a strength of 46 per cent alcohol by volume, was matured in first-fill bourbon and Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks. No colouring has been added to the spirit, which is non-chill filtered.

John Campbell, production director and master blender at Lochlea, said:

“This is the first opportunity for people to enjoy a dram from Lochlea, just in time for Burns Night.

“Our first single malt release isn’t quite what you expect from a typical lowland malt. For us, on the nose it is bursting with fresh orchard fruit and zesty orange, with vanilla fudge and a lovely cereal note in the background. The palette is rich and sweet with burnt caramel and hazelnuts with a medium mouth coating to finish while still holding on to that fruit.

“We’re looking forward to seeing bottles of Lochlea being opened, shared and enjoyed. This will provide a taste of what’s to come as we prepare to launch our core expression and some limited small batches this year.”

Lochlea said the release would be available from whisky and spirits shops around the UK, and in 10 export markets, with a recommended retail price of £50.

Commercial manager David Ferguson said: “This is an exciting moment for us. The team have worked tirelessly to get everything organised and bring our first whisky to market. Now we can’t wait to hear what customers think.

“We already have plans in place to release our ongoing core single malt whisky this year, alongside quarterly small batch bottlings. So this is very much just the beginning for Lochlea.”

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