KINCLAITH (1955 - 1977)
Glasgow. Licentiehouder: Seager, Evans & Co, Ltd. Eigendom van Schenley Industries, New York. Eigendom van Glen Alden Corporation.
Gesloten en ontmanteld in 1976 - 1977.
In 1953 werden de beperkingen op het maken van whisky door de regering afgeschaft en een overname en uitbreidingsgolf was het gevolg.
James Seager en William Evans begonnen in 1805 te Londen met het produceren van o.a. gin.
In 1898 verkocht Sir Frederick Seager Hunt zijn aandeel in de firma en deze ging verder onder de naam Seager, Evans & Co, Ltd.
In 1927 werd door hun dochteronderneming Scottish Grain Distilling Co, Ltd, de Strath-clyde graandistilleerderij gebouwd.
In 1936 werd de wijn- en drankenfirma Chaplin's of Tower Hill overgenomen die eigenaar was van het merk Long John.
Glenugie werd gekocht in 1937.KINCLAITH KINCLAITH
In 1955 werd de malt whisky distilleerderij Kinclaith gebouwd, in het gebouwencomplex van de Strathclyde graandistilleerderij.
Het was een geheel op zichzelf staande distilleerderij met eigen lagerpakhuizen met aarden vloeren. De maalderij en brouwerij waren aan de achterkant van het gebouwen-complex, op de eerste verdieping gelegen, en de gistkuipen stonden halfweg de distil-leerderij op de 2e en 3e verdieping.
Het ketelhuis was gelegen aan de noordkant en besloeg de gehele hoogte van het gebouw. Een tweetal ketels waren uitgerust met reinigers tussen de nekken en de concensors.
Deze ketels waren uienvormig, klein en hoog.
Kinclaith had één wash still en één spirit still.
Hoewel Kinclaith was bedoeld als ingredient in de Long John blends, was de kwaliteit zodanig om als single malt whisky te worden gebotteld.
Het is een heel fruitige, ronde, iets zoete single malt whisky met in de geur en smaak gember en citrusvruchten.
Zowel Gordon & Macphail als Wm. Cadenhead hebben Kinclaith gebotteld.
Schenley Industries, New York, het eigendom van Glen Alden Corporation nam Seager, Evans & Co, Ltd in 1956 over.
The Tormore wordt opgestart in 1959.
In 1962 wordt een 25 % belang genomen in Laphroaig.
In 1969 wordt Glen Alden Corporation, eigenaar van Schenley Industries overgenomen door Rapid American Incoporated.
Ook in 1969 wordt de produktie beperkt in Strathclyde, Kinclaith, Glenugie, Laphroaig en in The Tormore en andere deelnemingen worden stopgezet.
In 1971 werd de naam Seager, Evans & Co, Ltd veranderd in Long John International. In 1972 worden de resterende aandelen in Laphroaig overgenomen.
In 1975 wordt Long John International overgenomen door de bierbrouwers Whitbread, toen ook al de eigenaars van Ben Nevis en werden het merk Long John en de oorspronkelijke distilleerderij van Long John herenigd.
In 1976 werd besloten de graandistilleerderij Strathclyde uit te breiden, ging dit ten koste van Kinclaith, die moest plaatsmaken voor de uitbreiding en werd ontmanteld in 1976 - 1977.
In 1988 wordt Ben Nevis verkocht aan The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co, Ltd. Japan. In 1990 worden The Tormore en Laphroaig verkocht aan Allied Distillers Ltd.
Andrew Symington van Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, te Edinburgh ontdekt nog een vat Kinclaith.
Deze Ontdekking werd gedistilleerd op 4.3.1975, gelagerd in vat nummer 300029 en gebotteld op 23.7.2001 met 54,3 %.
Dit vat leverde 163 flessen op.
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
1957 Seager Evans Limited builds the distillery on the site of the grain distillery
1958 Production starts
1971 Seager Evans Limited changes name to Long John International Ltd
1975 Schenley Industries sells Long John International Ltd to Whitbread & Co
and Kinclaith is dismantled.
Strathclyde continues to produce gran whisky
DISTILLER & BLENDER
Prolific English gin and Scotch whisky distiller and blender that became Long John International.
What started out as a 19th century gin distiller and rectification business in London became a thriving Scotch whisky distilling and blending empire. Seager Evans & Co had its headquarters in Deptford, but under US ownership expanded its business north into Scotland. It acquired the Long John blended Scotch whisky and, following its popularity in global markets, eventually renamed its subsidiaries and own business after the brand.
During its lifetime Seager Evans & Co owned the Strathclyde grain distillery in Glasgow, Glenugie in Peterhead and Laphroaig on Islay, and built Tormore in Moray. It also owned a sizeable warehousing, blending and bottling facility in Glasgow, as well as the Plymouth Gin distillery on England’s south coast.
It was renamed Long John International Ltd in 1988 and now operates as a dormant subsidiary of Chivas Brothers Ltd.
SEAGER EVANS HISTORY
Despite being one of the more successful Scotch whisky distillers and blenders, Seager Evans & Co was established as a gin distiller and rectifier in London in 1805. Its main operation was based at Millbank distillery in Westminster for the purpose of distilling, blending and rectifying gin (the business was moved in 1921 to Holland & Co’s Deptford site on the expiration of Millbank’s lease).
In 1903, with many Scottish distilleries being sold off for a bargain price following a crash in the market, Seager Evans picked up the Lowland Glentarras distillery. But it was too soon for the group to be entering the Scotch distilling industry and with the market in disarray, particularly for the Lowland distilleries, it was sold on in 1910 (and eventually closed five years later).
It wasn’t until 1927 that Seager Evans made another pass at distilling in Scotland, this time with the construction of its own distillery in Glasgow. Strathclyde was opened on the site of a disused cotton mill in Waddell Street as an alternative source of grain spirit to DCL (which was dominating the market), rather than in response to demand for more capacity. Strathclyde operated under the Scottish Grain Distilling Company subsidiary, though the name was changed to Strathclyde and Long John Distilleries Ltd in 1957 following the opening of the Kinclaith malt plant inside Strathclyde and the acquisition of the Long John blend through Seager’s buyout of W.H. Chaplin & Co in 1936.
Glenugie malt distillery, which had been silent for 15 years, was added to the portfolio in 1937, but it was after WWII that Seager began a real spending spree. It bought Westthorn Farm in Glasgow, a 100-acre site on which it built a huge storage, cooperage and blending facility. Today the London Road site is the headquarters of John Dewar & Sons.
Seager Evans was acquired by New York’s Schenley Industries in 1956, which allowed it to purchase Coates & Co (Plymouth) Ltd, the producer of Plymouth Gin, in 1958. In the same year it snapped up Tormore in Moray and went on to acquire Gordon Graham of Aberdeen and its Black Bottle blend.
The investment didn’t stop. In 1962 Seager Evans began its 10-year purchase of Laphroaig distillery from Bessie Williamson, and went on to purchase Stanley Holt & Son, which held one of the largest stocks of maturing whisky in England.
In 1972 Schenley Industries was acquired by Rapid American Inc and three years later Seager Evans was sold off to British brewer Whitbread. Its new owner invested heavily in a modernising Seager’s distilleries, and even reunited the Long John brand with the purchase of its home, Ben Nevis distillery, in 1981.
In 1988 Seager Evans & Co. Ltd was renamed Long John International Ltd. The following year, Whitbread’s wine and spirits divisions were sold to Allied Lyons. Long John International is now a dormant subsidiary of Chivas Brothers.
DISTILLER & BLENDER
US-based liquor giant that held significant Scotch interests during the 20th century.
Schenley industries was one of the largest liquor groups operating out of the US during the 20th century, with significant interests in Bourbon, American and Canadian whisky, gin and vodka.
In Scotch terms, Schenley was responsible for the construction of Kinclaith and Tormore malt distilleries, and – through its English subsidiary Seager Evans & Co – also once owned Laphroaig distillery and Long John blended Scotch. As well as owning several distilleries and blending companies through Seager Evans, it also distributed many of the Scotch and gin brands belonging to the DCL in the US, including Dewar’s and Gordons.
Schenley’s New York headquarters once occupied five floors of the Empire State building, which with over 800 employees made it the largest employer in residence.
Schenley Industries was founded in the 1920s, when Lewis Rosential purchased a group of distilleries, including one in Schenley, Pennsylvania that had a license to produce whisky for medicinal purposes during Prohibition – one of only six in the country to do so. Acting on the advice of Sir Winston Churchill, whom he met during a visit to the French Riviera in 1922, Rosential purchased large whisky inventories in preparation for the end of Prohibition.
When Repeal came in 1933, Rosential incorporated Schenley Distillers Company, which grew rapidly to become one of the largest liquor businesses in the US. It obtained the rights to distribute DCL’s Dewar’s in the US, with the blended Scotch allegedly contributing half of Schenley’s profits.
The business was renamed Schenley Industries in 1949 and became a public company shortly afterward.
With Scotch whisky so vibrant in the US during the 50s – it took on the bulk of exports after the war – American ownership of Scotch interests abounded. Publicker Industries established Inver House Distillers; Hiram Walker made acquisitions of Scapa, Glencadam and Pulteney distilleries; while Seagram, which bought Chivas Brothers following the war, picked up Strathisla and Glen Keith.
In 1956 Schenley purchased London’s Seager Evans & Co., at that time owner of the Strathclyde grain distillery in Glasgow, Glenugie malt distillery in Peterhead, and the Long John blended Scotch whisky brand.
Under Schenley, Seager Evans opened the Kinclaith malt distillery within Strathclyde, Laphroaig on Islay and Plymouth Gin distillery. It built Tormore in Moray, and acquired blender Gordon & Graham of Aberdeen (owner of Black Bottle) and Stanley Holt & Son, which had one of the largest stocks of maturing whisky in England.
Rosential sold his controlling interest in Schenley to the Glen Alden Corporation in 1968, and resigned from the company. Glen Alden was purchased by Rapid American in 1972 but, owing to US monopolies legislation, was required to divest some of its liquor interests.
In 1975 Seager Evans & Co – which controlled all of Schenley’s Scotch assets – was sold to British brewer Whitbread and later renamed Long John International.
Meanwhile, Rapid American’s CEO, Meshulam ‘Rik’ Riklis was caught up over allegations of share price fixing during Guinness’ infamous takeover of Distillers Company Ltd in 1986. The following year Guinness also acquired Schenley industries from Riklis
Kinclaith. Produced for just shy of 20 years, Kinclaith was a blending malt distilled at Glasgow’s Strathclyde grain distillery between 1958 and 1977. The vast majority of it went into Long John blended Scotch, and although a few casks have popped up over the years it remains one of the scarcest names in Scottish single malt whisky. MacRaild finds this example nodding curiously in the direction of older Irish whiskeys – a phenomenon he credits to maturation in a very tired cask. After 40 years of ageing, this allows a satisfying glimpse into the Kinclaith distillery character.
KINCLAITH 40 YEARS OLD, DISTILLED 1969 (SIGNATORY)
Scoring explained >
Kinclaith 40 Years Old, Distilled 1969 (Signatory)
£ £ £ £ £
Single malt whisky
Fragrant & Floral
There’s a whiff of something Irish about it, with this sudden burst of green banana, trampled ferns and things like petrichor, root vegetables and lamp oil. Lemon oils, fabric and plain cereals all follow, with hints of chalk and ripe melon as well. A rather fascinating nose that offers some surprisingly fresh fruits, along with oilier and more mechanical aspects as well. Notes of strawberry sweeties, metal polish, citronella and verbena. I find it very good and aromatically quite complex – not to mention, entertaining.
Again, it’s immediately reminiscent of some very old pure pot Irish whiskey, what with these rather glowing, plush cereal tones. Some sweetness from honeyed porridge, more melon, green banana again, a slight warmth of white pepper, some coal dust and hints of mustard powder, camphor and waxed canvas. There’s a lightness to it, which speaks of long maturation in pretty dead wood, but it works well here as there’s no sense of fatigue about it. A very light mineral oil note and some brief salinity towards the finish.
Medium and rather light. Lots of lemon peel, hints of lighter fluid, baking powder, ink, wormwood and furniture polish. Unusual, but very good.
There’s a definite Irish accent to this one, which makes it distractingly entertaining and funny. However, from a more academic perspective, it’s also a very fine dram in its own right. The cask feels rather dead, which I think has served it well as there’s still rather a lot of freshness about it: cereals, fabric, fruits, etc. Fascinating and pleasurable to taste such an obscure and historic name.
RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
There’s an abundance of curiosity, but the blind tasting just got a lot more expensive.