Go to content

Main menu:

Inverleven

Whisky Collection Bar > I

INVERLEVEN   geen leeftijd vermelding 40 %           
1979
Trademark of Proprietors:
Hiram Walker & Sons (Scotland) Plc.
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

INVERLEVEN   25 years old 58,6 %   INFO            
Date distilled Jun 68
Date bottled Jan 94
Society Cask No. code 20.10
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh

INVERLEVEN  11 years old %                    
Distilled: 1984
Bottled:1995
Trademark of Proprietors:
Hiram Walker & Sons (Scotland) Plc.
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

INVERLEVEN  15 years old 40%                    
Distilled: 1986
Bottled 2001
Proprietors: Hiram Walker & Sons (Scotland) Plc.
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

INVERLEVEN  24 years old 56,3 %     INFO
SINGLE CASK
SCOTCH MALT WHISKY
Date Distilled Nov. 78
Date Bottled Feb 03
Society Cask code 20.18
Outturn 216 Bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
'Bitter Grapefruit'

INVERLEVEN     Aged 30 years 49,2 %                               
SIGNATORY  VINTAGE
CASK  STRENGHT  COLLECTION
Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled on; 14/09/1977
Matured in a Bourbon Barrel
Cask Nos: 3603 + 3604
Bottled on: 10/12/2007
279 Numbered Bottles
Natural Colour
Signatory Vintage scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh

INVERLEVEN            DISTILLED  1 9 9 1   40 %                              
SINGLE  LOWLAND  MALT
SCOTCH  WHISKY
Proprietors: Hiram Walker & Sons (Scotland) Plc
Specially selected, produced and bottled
by and under the reponsibillity of
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

Lowlands
INVERLEVEN   (1938 - 1991)  also see LOMOND and DUMBARTON

Dumbarton, Strathclyde. Licentiehouder: Hiram Walker & Sons (Scotland) Ltd. Onderdeel van Allied Distillers Ltd. Eigendom van Allied Domecq.
In 1938 gesticht door HiramWalker & Sons Ltd, op de plaats waar eerder de McMillan Scheepswerf was gelegen en eigenlijk twee distilleerderijen in één: Dumbarton Grain Distillery en een malt distilleerderij waar twee verschillende single malt whiskies kunnen worden geproduceerd.
Vanaf het begin was de produktie van Lomond bestemd voor de Ballantine's blends. Er was nooit een botteling als single malt, behalve die van onafhankelijke bottelaars.
In 1959 werd een nieuw soort ketels geïnstalleerd, naast de gewone ketels, die werden lomond ketels genoemd.
Dezelfde ketels werden ook geplaatst in Glenburgie, Mildonduff en Scapa, bij de laatste alleen een wash still.
De whisky afkomstig van Glenburgie kreeg een eigen naam: Glencraig, die van Mildonduff werd Mosstowie genoemd, de ketels zijn intussen verwijderd.
De single malt whisky afkomstig uit de Lomond ketel van Inverleven werd zover bekend éénmaal gebotteld door The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh.
Inverleven, afkomstig uit de gewone ketels zijn uitgebracht door zowel Gordon & Macphail, te Elgin als Wm. Cadenhead te Campbeltown.
Allied Distillers Februari 2003
Dumbarton Distillery sluit. Het komplex waar ook het hoofdkantoor van Allied was gevestigd, hergde ook de Dumbarton Grain distilleerderij, en ook werden de malt whiskies Lomond, waarvan slechts één botteling bekend is, uitgebracht door de Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh onder code nummer 98.1, en Inverleven.
De capaciteit van de Grain distilleerderij Strathclyde wordt vergroot tot 39 miljoen liter spirit per jaar, dat was 32 miljoen liter.
Het hoofdkantoor wordt gevestigd te Kilmalid.
Het enorme gebouwencomplex is verkocht aan twee projectontwikkelaars.
Inverleven was constructed within the Dumbarton Distillery complex and equipped with a Lomond'.still. The Lomond still was developed by Alistair Cunningham at Hiram Walker with the purpose of acquiring a greater flexibility to produce different kinds of whisky with thesame equipment. When Dumbarton closed in 2002 production was moved to Strathclyde but then Inverleven had already been closed for ten years. When Dumbarton finally closed in 2002, Bruichladdich took the opportunity of buying some of the equipment including the Lomond still.
The whisky from the Lomond still, Lomond single malt was only bottled in 1992 in two versions of 19 and 20 years old respectively by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Inverleven single malt cannot be obtained as an official bottling, but there are releases from independent bottlers such as Gordon & Macphail 1989 14 years old, Signatory 1977 27 years old and three versions of Duncan Taylor Rarest of the Rare: 1977, 27 years old, 1978, 26 years old and 1979, 24 years old.

1938 The distillery is founded by Hiram Walker & Son as part of Dumbarton Distillery, a complex with grain distilling, warehousing and a bottling plant

1956Hiram Walker constructs a 'distillery within the distillery' by inventing the
Lomond stills, which makes whisky that differs from Inverleven
The same type of still is introduced at Glenburgie, Miltonduff and Scapa

1987 Allied Lyons buys Hiram Walker Gooderham & Worts

1991 The distillery is mothballed

2002   Dumbarton Distillery closes

Dumbarton Distillery closes

Inverleven was build as a part of Hiram Walker's huge grain whisky distillery complex in Dumbarton in 1938.
The malt whisky stocks for Ballantine's blends had been secured, but grain spirit still had to be purchased from competitors.
Plans were laid down to turn an old shipyard on the banks of the River Leven, in Dumbarton, into the largest grain distillery in Europe.
More than 600 men worked on the grain distillery, when construction began in 1937. Incorporated into the site were a small malt distillery, Inverleven, extensive warehousing and bottling and a blending plant.
On the day the Dumbarton plant was officially opened - 28 September 1938 - the British navy was mobilised in preparation for war.
The distillery ceased production in 1992 and the remainder of the Dumbarton site was closed in 2002.
The distillery operated two traditional stills for the production of Inverleven and also a lomond still which produced a heavier malt called Lomond Single Malt.
Inverleven is now only available through independent bottlers, as there are no stocks left of the official distillery bottlings.

INVERLEVEN  DISTILLERY

Water: Loch Lomond
Mash tun: 1 x 5 tonnes
Wasbacks: 5 x 28000 litres
1 wash still x 25000 litres
1 spirit still x 20.000 litres


Inverleven distillery lied on the cusp between the lowlands and the highlands, at the northern shores of the Clyde in Dumbarton. Inverleven distillery was built as part of the Dumbarton complex in 1938, making it a relatively young distillery.

The Whisky
Inverleven distillery lied on the cusp between the lowlands and the highlands, at the northern shores of the Clyde in Dumbarton. Inverleven whisky has always been quite rare, especially as the distillery has never released an official bottling. The distillery was part of the Dumbarton grain complex and when the distillery was demolished, its stills were removed, which means that in the decades to come the precious spirit will disappear from the market entirely.

Away from that rather depressing thought, at the moment it is still possible to source Inverleven single malt. There have been a number of independent bottlings, performed by the likes of Gordon & McPhail, Duncan Taylor, and Signatory Vintage. These independent bottlings range from the 1970s right up to the last cask fillings in the early 1990s.

Inverleven was built with the intention of providing spirit to be used in the Ballantine's blends, but the blenders never quite took to the spirit.

The Production
The exact production capacity of Inverleven has been lost with its demolition, but what we do know is, that at one point in time, it was the largest grain whisky distillery in Scotland. Production-wise, Inverleven had quite a unique situation. Inverleven was not a 'distillery' as such, but rather two stills within the larger Dumbarton distillery complex, which produced mainly grain whisky. Both single malt whisky and the grain whisky drew their water from the stunning Loch Lomond.

The Pot Stills
Inverleven was distilled using only two stills: one wash and one spirit still. The wash still had a capacity of 25’000 litres, while the spirit still had a capacity of 20’000 litres. Both of the original stills had a traditional 'Speyside' shape, with wide, spherical lids and tall conical necks. In 1959, Inverleven took over the use of one of the stills, that were used to produce the Lomond single malt on site, which had a distinctive 'Lomond' shape. This still had the same bulb shaped bottom as the Speyside still, but rather than a lovely tapering neck, the Lomond still had a thick, wide neck resembling a coffee can, with a flat or dome-shaped head. The still was used to replace the original Inverleven spirit still. The angle of the lyne arm was quite severe, which had a dramatic effect on the flavour of the spirit – Hiram Walkers, who owned the distillery, did that deliberately in order to cater to the demands of the blenders.

Maltings
The malts that were used in the production of Inverleven were unpeated, and sourced from a nearby industrial source.

The Warehouses
Inverleven was stored on the Dumbarton site in a small complex of dunnage bonded warehouses. The distillery used a combination of oak and sherry casks in which to age the spirit.

History
Inverleven distillery was built as part of the Dumbarton complex in 1938, making it a relatively young distillery. Hiram Walker & Sons established the single malt with the intention of providing spirit to be used in blends. The site at Dumbarton was owned by George Ballantine and Company and hosted their continuous stills, which were used to produce grain whisky. In this sense, Inverleven was never a true 'distillery', but instead was simply a pair of stills within a larger facility. In 1991 Inverleven was mothballed. However, Inverleven’s legacy continues through its equipment. Bruichladdich recently decided to reopen the Lochindaal distillery at Port Charlotte and transported the machinery and stills from Inverleven to Islay.

Inverleven was situated just south of the Highlands border near Glasgow, making it a Lowlands single malt. It was predominantly set aside for blending in owner Hiram Walker’s Ballantine’s blend though it made a few outings as a single malt, the most recent being part of Chivas Brothers’ Deoch an Doras (one for the road) series in 2011. A smattering of independent bottlings exist, although stocks are undoubtedly rare.

After it purchased George Ballantine & Sons in 1936, Canada’s Hiram Walker-Gooderham and Worts needed to secure a steady supply of malt and grain for its newly acquired blend. Ballantine’s had no distilleries in its portfolio, so Hiram purchased the Miltonduff distillery in Speyside (it had already bought Glenburgie in 1930), and set about building a giant grain and malt distilling complex in Dumbarton, near Glasgow.

The Dumbarton grain distillery came to life in 1938, at the same time as its sister malt distillery, Inverleven, a more ‘compact’ plant featuring two copper pot stills situated within Dumbarton’s walls. The Canadians left their mark with Inverleven – the malt distillery is thought to be the first to steam-heat both its wash and low wines stills rather than use direct fire; a safety change now adopted widely by the majority of Scotch whisky producers.

In 1956 a third Lomond still was added to the Inverleven still house, a unique style of still featuring a rectification column with changeable plates capable of creating multiple styles of spirit. Although the Lomond still shared Inverleven’s wash still, it was classed as a separate distillery called Lomond. The two malt distilleries had a combined output of 500,000 proof gallons a year.

Lomond was mothballed in 1985, just three years before Allied Lyons purchased Hiram Walker. Not long after the acquisition, in 1991, Inverleven was also decommissioned, though its stills live on.

In 2005 the stills were transferred to Bruichladdich on Islay (as was the Lomond still, which is now used to make Botanist gin), though they were never used to make whisky. Inverleven’s wash still was relocated to stand proudly as a photo opportunity for tourists outside the distillery, while the spirit still was stored at the old Lochindaal distillery at Port Charlotte. In 2015 both were relocated to former Bruichladdich co-owner Mark Reynier’s new Waterford distillery in Ireland.

Dumbarton itself was eventually closed in 2002, its buildings demolished to make way for a housing complex.

1936
George Ballantine & Sons is acquired by Hiram Walker-Gooderham and Worts
1938
The Dumbarton grain complex is built, with Inverleven malt distillery inside
1956
A Lomond still is installed at Inverleven
1985
Lomond distillery is decommissioned
1988
Allied Lyons purchases Hiram Walker, including Dumbarton and Inverleven
1991
Inverleven distillery is closed
2002
The Dumbarton complex is finally shut down
OWNERS

Pernod Ricard
2005 - present
CURRENT OWNER

Chivas Brothers Holdings
PREVIOUS OWNERS

Allied Domecq
1994 - 2005
Allied Lyons
1988 - 1994
Hiram Walker & Sons
1938 - 1988
Back to content | Back to main menu