08 July 2022
Annandale is a Lowland distillery located in Dumfries & Galloway, just five miles from Gretna Green, on the Scottish Border. While not the most southerly distillery in Scotland (that accolade goes to Bladnoch) it is the closest to the border and therefore the most accessible distillery from the north of England.
The small town of Annan is one such place, home to the Annandale Distillery. Originally established in 1836 by George Donald, the distillery was later bought by the Johnnie Walker brand in 1893 and was closed down in 1924. In 2007 the distillery was bought by the Annandale Distillery Company which is owned by Prof. David Thomson and Teresa Church, receiving a grant of £150,000 from the Regional Selective Assistance to assist with a £10.5m refurbishment project. The first spirit came off the stills in 2014, with both peated and unpeated liquids emerging from the same still house.
Most single malt distilleries distill twice and have one wash still (which distills the fermented beer, or 'wash') paired with one spirit still (which does the second distillation to make the spirit). However, Annandale’s single copper wash still (12,000 litres) is paired with two copper spirit stills (2 x 4,000 litres). This increases the ratio of the surface area of copper to the volume of liquid inside the spirit still, which leads to increased purification of the spirit.
Combine this with a good barrel sourcing program and cask strength, single cask releases, and the distillery has subsequently gained a reputation for sweet and fruity malts that have a softness that seems to belie their strength.
The Annandale malt we have shared with you this month (July 2022) is taken from a single sherry butt (450 litres) aged for five years, and reduced to 50% ABV. We have exactly 100 70cl bottles of this whisky left to buy through the Whisky Me shop!