Whisky blog: Distillery returns after a gap of 99 years

Scottish Field’s new whisky blogger is James Robertson.


On November 15, the first two bottles of legal single malt in 99 years were drawn from Cask No1, at a ceremony held at the Annandale Distillery, Annan.

This Lowlands Distillery, which in the past provided part of the whisky for Johnnie Walker closed in December 1918. The original distillery was built in 1830 and was named after the valley in which it is located.

The Annandale Distillery

In 2007 David Thomson and his wife Teresa discovered that the buildings were being used for cattle and other aspects of farming and persuaded the owners of the farm to sell them the buildings.

These have now been lovingly restored to what must be one of the prettiest distilleries in the country.

The distillery began to produce again in 2014.

Before opening the cask, David said: ‘It is our ambition to make decent whisky here. I hope that we are doing that and that in 100 years time we will still be making decent whisky.’

David Thomson and his wife Teresa draw the first dram

One of the bottles that was drawn that day will be kept at the distillery, whilst the second will be sold along with the first cask.

The late Dr Jim Swan’s presence can be found through out the distillery as he was an integral influence on the design of the distillery and how it would operate.

As David so aptly put it, the Annandale Distillery would indeed be a: ‘lasting memorial to what Jim has done here.’

Inside the Annandale Distillery

The distillery will now look forward to bottling its first releases of single malt: Man O’Words and Man O’Sword which look back at two local men of history – Robert Burns and Robert the Bruce.

Man O’Words will be an unpeated whisky whilst Man O’Sword will be peated at 45ppm, both having been matured in ex Bourbon and ex Sherry barrels.

To register interest in the first bottlings customers will need to book in on the Annandale website – https://www.annandaledistillery.com/first-release/

Scottish Field’s whisky blogger James Robertson

  • James Robertson has spent 22 years in the drinks industry including working with Taittinger, Louis Jadot, and latterly for the past eight years, was the face of Tullibardine around the world until 2016. He is now running his own business providing expertise to companies looking for assistance with international brand building, sales and marketing and distributor management. Prior to that, he was an officer with the Argylls and an Inspector with the Royal Hong Kong Police.