It’s funny, isn’t it – when Diageo announced that they would be closing the historic Port Dundas distillery in Glasgow, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, marches through the streets protesting about the job losses, and questions in parliament. However, like most explorers, my first thought was “that one is going on the list”.
Port Dundas is, oddly, on top of a hill several miles from the river – it’s next to the Forth and Clyde canal, though, which was used for transporting grain to the distillery and the nearby Spiers Wharf warehouses and sugar refinery. The distillery was originally built by J. Gourlay & Co. in 1820, but it has been rebuilt, expanded and modified many times since then. The last owner is drinks giant Diageo, who used it to make Bells and Johnnie Walker among others. First stop was the dark grains plant (I’m not an expert on distilleries – no idea what all this means!)
Inside, it’s plumbing city:
A control room:
One of several gas turbines used for process heat and power:
Climbing up into the structure:
Back down, and into the office and admin area:
The main control room:
Next, onto the brewing, mashing and distilling buildings:
With another control room:
Into an older part of the distillery – some parts here had some very old stone walls – lovely…
On to the distilling section. I had hoped that this place would have the sweet smells of whisky, but no – it smelled strongly of flying rat, and it was skankier than many power stations I’ve seen.
There were loads of flykillers everywhere, and I was accompanied by the continuous buzzing, crackling sound of small flying creatures being vapourised.
And one more view of the mashing section, on the way out: