Distillery on farm where Robert Burns lived to bottle whisky later this year

A £6 million distillery on the farm where Robert Burns lived and worked is expected to start bottling its first whisky later this year.

Planning started on Lochlea Distillery in 2014, but liquid production did not begin until August 2018, with the first casks filled and laid down in an on-site warehouse.

The site remains a working farm where the barley is grown nearly 250 years after Scotland’s national poet was tending the same land.

Burns was 18 when he moved to Lochlea Farm in 1777, and worked there until 1784.

David Ferguson, Lochlea Whisky’s commercial manager and an Ayrshire native, said: “Lochlea Whisky will carve out its own unique place in the industry.

“The new-make spirit is bursting with orchard fruit and has a beautiful elegance way beyond its years.

“Lochlea Farm is deeply rooted in Scottish history and is known for being the home and workplace of Robert Burns from 1777 to 1784.

“Burns is known for his honest, passionate and progressive nature and this has inspired some of Lochlea Distillery’s core values.”

Martin Rennie
Distillery manager Martin Rennie inside Lochlea (Spey/PA)

Distillery manager Malcolm Rennie has been involved at Lochlea since 2018, having previously worked on whiskies including Kilchoman, Bruichladdich and Ardbeg.

He said: “Ensuring full traceability from field to cask is vital for us.

“We grow and harvest our own barley on Lochlea farm, with the resulting draff used to feed local cattle and the water is sourced on site.

“We’ve been able to take advantage of Ayrshire’s natural resources and in doing so it keeps our carbon footprint to a minimum.”