With its puffing chimneys, entangled pipelines, enormous tanks and squarish buildings, Strathclyde Distillery looks nothing like the picturesque whisky production sites you often find perpetuated on the front sides or postcards or the pages of illustrated books. In fact, when you gaze at that grey giant located close to the banks of the river Clyde in Glasgow, there is a good chance you will think that you are staring at a chemical factory or an assembly plant rather than a Scotch whisky distillery. With this in mind, it should not come as a surprise to you that you can neither book guided tours at Strathclyde nor enter an opulent visitor center. And you will also not find any proprietary bottlings from the Pernod Ricard-owned production plant. So why do I recommend you to visit Strathclyde anyway when you are in Glasgow? The answer is simple: Because this undervalued working horse deserves a bit of appreciation!
Every year, Strathclyde puts out close to 40 million liters of spirit – that is nearly twice as much as the Scotland’s two best-selling single malt distilleries Glenlivet and Glenfiddich produce together! Almost every drop of this flood of alcohol ends up being blended by mega-brands such as Chivas Regal or Ballantine’s. A tiny fraction, however, also finds its way into the hands of independent bottlers. Douglas Laing, Berry Bros and Cadenhead’s are some of these fine fellas that offer Strathclyde’s spirit a stage to shine on its own. If you stumble upon such a single cask bottling online or in a store, you might want to take a little detour from your regular malt routine and try a quality grain whisky instead… it took me a bit to fully appreciate these kinds of drams, but after a while I ended up becoming a proper grain fan!
Back to the distillery itself. As checking out the complex from the outside will not take more than a few minutes, I would recommend you to combine your flying visit to Strathclyde with other activities that make the trip more worthwhile. Cause let’s be honest: Seeing the huge production site from up close and scenting the air around it for that distinctive whisky making odor is already quite cool on its own. But you do probably not want to go zigzag through town for a sensation that lasts a quarter of an hour tops. So when my girlfriend and I popped in on Strathclyde in April, we took the “hop on, hop off” bus to Glasgow Green, ate a delicious cake at People’s Palace and then strolled through the park resources towards the distillery. Afterwards, we continued by foot to Argyle St, where we did some shopping before we boarded the train back to the hotel. That was a very fun trip – with Strathclyde Distillery being one of quite a few enjoyable stops.
Name: Strathclyde Distillery
Type: Grain distillery
Address: 40 Moffat St, Glasgow G5 0QB, United Kingdom
More info: https://www.pernod-ricard.com/en (Owner)