This is a malt ghost – Kinclaith - within a living grain distillery in the form of Strathclyde in the heart of industrial Glasgow. Let’s take a quick look at the latter to set Kinclaith in the appropriate context.
Strathclyde was built in 1927 by the London gin rectifiers, Seager Evans, to produce grain whisky for blending and neutral grain spirit for use in gin making. They were taken over in 1956 by the US company, Schenley Industries Inc., and Long John Distilleries was set up as the operating subsidiary. The following year two pot stills were installed within the grain distillery and so Kinclaith Lowland Malt Distillery was born. And so it continued until 1975 when the UK brewer, Whitbread, took over and proceeded to dismantle the Kinclaith cuckoo. Strathclyde continues under Pernod-Ricard ownership, as does the Long John brand, with which it was associated throughout its short life.
Kinclaith had one of the briefest appearances in Scotch whisky distilling history and as it was destined entirely for blending, the few casks which escaped have resulted in a handful of very rare independent bottlings surfacing irregularly and at appropriately high prices. And it is great whisky if you can find it – which we did!