A location on the most westerly point of the British mainland has made Adelphi, Ardnamurchan’s owner, think long and hard about sustainability.
A hydro-electric generator in the river which also provides Ardnamurchan’s cooling water generates all the power required, while a biomass boiler using wood chips from a local forest provides all the hot water. The draff heads to local herds and pot ale goes as fertiliser for the fields.
Two styles of spirit have been made from the outset – peated and unpeated. Both use barley grown on the estate of one of the owners.
Legal distilling was unknown on the remote Ardnamurchan peninsula until independent bottler Adelphi opened its distillery there in 2014. This is not however the first distillery to bear the Adelphi name.
The original was built in the Gorbals district of Glasgow in 1826, passing into the hands of Archibald Walker in 1880, making the firm the only distiller to make whisky in Scotland, Ireland and England. By 1887 it was producing over 500,000 gallons of both malt and grain whisky a year. It was bought by DCL in 1903 and its pot stills stopped four years later. Grain was made until 1932. The site is now where Glasgow’s Central Mosque stands.
Archibald Walker's great-grandson, Jamie, started Adelphi as an independent bottler in 1993. Its current owners bought the firm in 2004.
CAPACITY (MLPA) i
CONDENSER TYPE i
Shell and tube outside building
FERMENTATION TIME i
FILLING STRENGTH i
GRIST WEIGHT (T) i
HEAT SOURCE i
Biomass from locally sourced wood chip
MALT SPECIFICATION i
MALT SUPPLIER i
Bairds using malt from Broomhall Farm
MASH TUN TYPE i
NEW-MAKE STRENGTH i
SINGLE MALT PERCENTAGE i
SPIRIT STILL CHARGE (L) i
SPIRIT STILL SHAPE i
Traditional with boil ball
SPIRIT STILL SIZE (L) i
Dunnage on site
WASH STILL CHARGE (L) i
WASH STILL SHAPE i
WASH STILL SIZE (L) i
WASHBACK CHARGE (L) i
WASHBACK SIZE (L) i
WASHBACK TYPE i
4 oak and 3 stainless steel
WATER SOURCE i
Glenmore River and springs above the distillery
WORT CLARITY i
High clarity because of 20 minutes recirculation
YEAST TYPE i
2013 - present
Adelphi Distillery Ltd is owned by Donald Houston and Keith Falconer, and has its headquarters at Charlestown in Fife, though Houston is laird of the Ardnamurchan Estate in the West Highlands of Scotland, and it is on his land that Adelphi built its own distillery.
The company specialises in single cask bottlings, which are offered without chill-filtration or the addition of colour. Some 50 casks are bottled each year, and the ‘Fascadale’ name recurs on small-batch bottlings from unspecified island distilleries at a variety of ages.
Adelphi is also now a distiller as well as a bottler, and its Ardnamurchan distillery – opened in 2014 – has the capacity to produce up to 450,000 litres of spirit per year, some of which will eventually make its way into Fascadale and other house expressions, while quantities will also be used for reciprocal trading.