Dream, and dram, come true with first single malt at Falkirk Distillery

A decade-long wait for Falkirk Distillery Company to start distilling single malt whisky is finally over.

By Jonathon Reilly
Friday, 19th February 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 1:49 pm

The firm first received planning permission to build its premises in Grandsable Road, Polmont in 2010.

However, issues involving its proximity to a section of the Antonine Wall – as well as the coronavirus pandemic – meant plenty of patience was required before the business could officially begin operating in earnest.

Founder George Stewart said it was “a dream or perhaps a dram too many” that brought about the initial idea of building his very own family-run whisky distillery.

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Falkirk Distillery Company is now distilling a single malt following a decade-long wait. Picture: Michael Gillen.

After more than five decades spent running local businesses, the Stewart family celebrated in July 2020 when the distillery became fully operational.

There was further reason to be pleased late last year when Falkirk Distillery Company started producing a spirit for the first time.

Fans will have to wait until October 2023 before sampling its whisky, though, as as a spirit isn’t whisky until it has been distilled for at least three years.

Falkirk Distillery Company owner Fiona Stewart, daughter of founder George Stewart. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Inside the magnificent new distillery building are two copper stills and a copper mash tun, which have a long history in whisky distilling having come from the Caperdonich distillery at Rothes, Aberlour.

Possessing the ability to eventually produce over a million litres a year, Falkirk Distillery Company’s goal is to make a “light lowland malt, appealing to a wide range of spirit drinkers”.

Mr Stewart said: “The whole process to date has been one of passion and patience.

“We have invested heavily in time and money to create something we hope the local area can be immensely proud of.

Falkirk Distillery Company manager Graham Brown. Picture: Michael Gillen.

“We are overwhelmed with the support shown already from the local area and whisky community. There is something about whisky that really brings people together.

“Our expectations are that over 80,000 visitors will come through the doors here every year and that has to be a boost for the local community.”He added: “Furthermore, once fully operational with tours and our restaurant running, we will require well over 60 staff members.”

Whisky lovers can now sign up to be a founding member of the distillery and, for those who wish to invest further, there’s an option to own your own cask in a first-fill bourbon and sherry hogshead.

Distillery manager Graham Brown – formerly of Distell and who spent time with both Deanston and Tobermory distilleries – is overseeing production and admits something special lies in wait.

The new facility contains two copper stills and a 4.5 copper mash tun which came from Caperdonich distillery in Rothes, Aberlour. Picture: Michael Gillen.

He said: “Our main aim here is to focus on the quality of the spirit.

“There is no rush to just put anything out to market that we aren’t immensely proud of and we believe that will show in the final product.”

With production now well under way, customers and whisky fans can follow the journey online until Covid restrictions allow for the completion of its visitor centre.

Tours of the distillery will then be available year-round, with a restaurant and tasting event centre planned soon after.

Visit the website, Facebook or Instagram pages for more details.

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