Extract from Alfred Barnard’s historic tour of every whisky distillery in Great Britain, published in ‘1887’
WE joined a coaching party the next morning and drove to Glenlussa, five miles north of Campbeltown, through which, on its war to Kilbrannon Sound, runs the Ardlussa River. This glen has been famous from time immemorial for the strength, beauty, and intelligence of its inhabitants. The appearance and manly bearing of a company of volunteers raised in Glenlussa attracts the admiration of all beholders at Campbeltown, when they visit that town for their weekly drill, and we could not help regretting that this handsome body of men did not farm a portion of Her Majesty’s regular army. On our way we passed through well cultivated lands, where very fine barley is grown, and could perceive in the distant valleys other well tilled farms and smiling homesteads of equal promise. On its way back to the hotel the coach dropped us near Burnside. I t is the only Distillery in Campbeltown that is actually in the country, being planted on the grassy slopes of Bengullien, and about half a mile from the centre of the town. Before commencing our duties we climbed a small portion of the mountain, from whence we obtained the finest view of the district we had yet seen.
The Distillery, which covers nearly two acres of ground, is built in the farm of an oblong quadrangle, with several outlying buildings. It was built in the year 1825 by the grandfather of one of the present partners, and is solidly built and conveniently arranged. One of the Malt Barns is a very spacious building, and was used as a banqueting-hall and ball-room when the present Duke of Argyll came of age. Besides this there are three other Malt Barns and two large Granaries. Adjoining the Malt Barns are three Kilns, all floored with perforated tiles and heated with peat and blind coal. In close proximity there is a Mill and Stores and the Mash-house, which contains a Mash-tun, 14 feet in diameter and 5 feet deep, together with an Underback and a Morton’s Refrigerator. The Tun-room is a neat and clean apartment, and contains six fermenting Tuns, each containing 5,500 gallons, also a Wash Charger 6,500 gallons. In the Still-house there are two Pot Stills, holding 3,000 and 1,250 gallons respectively, three Receivers, the usual Chargers and a Steam Pump. Near by there is a 15-horse power Steam Engine, and a Boiler 20 feet long by 7 in diameter. Ranged round the quadrangle are nine Warehouses with zinc roofs, all well lighted and ventilated, which contained 3,000 casks at the time of our visit. Seventeen men are employed in the establishment. The make is Campbeltown Malt, and the annual output is 96.000 gallons. The Whisky is sold principally in London and Glasgow.