Our Partnerships - The Distilleries
When you visit the West Coast of Scotland you enter a different time zone. This part of Scotland treasures yet unknown secrets that will only reveal themselves to the open-minded. Secret Stills is predominantly operating in this part of this beautiful and diverse country because we think that it offers some of the most complex and distinct Single Malts, some of them yet to be discovered.
We have carefully chosen the distilleries we would like to introduce you to. Our choice is based on location, ethics, concept and rareness of their Single Malts or Single Malts to be. Our aim is to stay away as much as possible from the touristic mainstream, always focussing on delivering an outstanding and unforgettable Single Malt experience to you in the seclusion of a peaceful and tranquil environment.
Ardnamurchan Distillery distilling since 2014 - Borrowed from the past, crafted for the future
The remote peninsula of Ardnamurchan stretches out to the furthest westerly point of the mainland UK and reveals one of the most untamed landscapes of the West Coast. It is famous for its outstanding and untouched beauty and abundance of natural resources. And, of course, it is the home to Scotland’s greenest distillery.
Established in 2014 and designed from the outset as an organic distillery, Ardnamurchan single malt reflects its stunning, rugged West Highland location, with gentle peat smoke, a rich fruits palate and a hint of sea salt. Its Spirit 2016 AD has sold out four times over since its release and a second bottling of mature spirit was released in September 2018; however, the best things in life are worth waiting for and a fully-matured single malt expression won’t be released until it's aged a minimum of seven years, meaning a release date of 2021. The 500 litre ex-sherry butts filled on the 1st August 2014 are now surrounded by a full warehouse of sister casks, all enjoying the superb west coast maturation climate.
Arran Distillery since 1995 - Independently owned and independently minded
Down there on this beautiful island with its soaring hills and rugged coasts, they are doing things the old way. Their magical spirits are crafted using traditional production methods with only a few chosen pure ingredients, reviving an ancient heritage of whisky-making.
Since it was constructed in 1993 (the first legal distillery on the Isle of Arran since 1837) Arran has made a name for itself by releasing a core range of 10, 14 and 18 year-olds, both peated and unpeated, whilst also being able to produce a superb portfolio of older limited, premium, single-cask bottlings with three different cask finishes – Amarone, Port and Sauterne. The signature style of Arran single malt is a smooth, creamy palate but with a hint of smoky spiciness and a long, nutty finish.
Auchentoshan Distillery since 1823 - Born and raised in the city
Forged in the fires of The Industrial Revolution and the Glaswegian sweat of their forefathers, this is one of the rare triple distilled spirits. They've taken the sweat out now. But boy do they still have the spirit! They're part of the city. And the city is part of them.
One of only 5 remaining distilleries in the Lowlands of Scotland today, and it is Auchentoshan that practices what this part of Scotland was famous for - namely triple distillation using unpeated malt. This gives Auchentoshan a unique, fresh signature style based on a lighter spirit, producing citrus aromas and a smooth, fruit-and-nut chocolate finish. The core range of 12, 18 and 21 years is supplemented by the Classic and Three Wood bottlings, however the distillery also maintains a policy of producing limited releases of cask strength, non chill-filtered bottlings in small batches.
Glengoyne Distillery since 1833 – No-one takes more time and care
Here, you will experience bold, complex flavours from the slowest stills in Scotland, matured only in the finest casks. Only 40 minutes away from Glasgow, Glengoyne is considered to be the most beautiful distillery in Scotland.
Family-owned and officially a Lowland distillery, the distillery site is split by a main road which marks the dividing line between the Lowland and Highland regions of Scotland. The warehouses (where all their whisky is matured) are to the south, therefore in the Lowlands, and the distillery building is to the north, therefore in the Highlands! Regardless of the geography involved, Glengoyne adheres to traditional methods to produce an excellent core range of whiskies, as well as a small number of single cask and limited editions using both the traditional Lowland-style unpeated malt as well as peated expressions. Glengoyne whisky is noted for its smoothness on the palate with pleasingly long and buttery, vanilla notes on the finish.
Ncn'ean Distillery distilling since 2017 – Single Malts Made by Nature, not by Rules
Located on the remote Drimnin estate, Ncn’ean is Scotland’s first fully organic single whisky distillery. They take pride in creating experiential spirits in the most sustainable way possible.
Established in 2017 as a farm distillery (like many distilleries were in the 18th Century), Ncn'ean (pronounced Nook-knee-anne) is the first fully organic modern distillery in Scotland powered by 100% renewable energy. The stills are fired by a biomass boiler supplied from a local forest and all by-products are recycled as animal and plant feed on the remote estate where the distillery is located. The distillery layout has been designed to produce a light, fruity and estery spirit, a character intensified by slow mashes, long fermentations, horizontal lyne arms and shell and tube condensers with a high, narrow spirit cut. If that all sounds rather technical, don't be put off! A visit to this remarkable distillery will be a fascinating experience. The first mature single malt will not be available until May 2020, however if you can't wait until then you can try the Ncn'ean Botanical Spirit or purchase your own cask of Ncn'ean single malt whisky in the meantime.
Springbank Distillery since 1821 – The whisky drinker’s whisky
Based in Campbelltown, once proclaimed “Whisky Capital of the World”, Springbank is the oldest independent family-owned distillery in the country, producing Scotland’s most handmade whisky. It is the only distillery in Scotland, that carries out 100% of the production on one site.
Located in the centre of Campbeltown, which at one time boasted 25 distilleries, Springbank is now just one of 3 remaining in the town. It has a fascinating history, retains an enduring reputation around the world and it is considered by many as one of the stars of Scotch single malts. Unique in many ways, Springbank stubbornly relies on old established methods rather than following more modern techniques to produce a broad range of 3 different styles of single malt, both peated and unpeated. In 2012 the distillery decided to resume its once famous 21 year old very limited annual releases and the 2019 release, consisting of only 3,600 bottles worldwide, was matured in 45% Port casks and 55% Rum casks and bottled at 46%.
Tobermory Distillery since 1798 – Where the spirit of the island is captured
Tobermory Distillery since 1798 – Where you will receive the warmest Hebridean welcome.
Based in Tobermory on the island of Mull, this is one of the oldest commercial distilleries in Scotland. Centuries have passed but their uncompromising tradition, dedication and devotion remain.
With a chequered history going back to 1798, Tobermory traditionally produced a heavily peated malt whisky. In the first half of the 20th Century a lighter style of whisky was produced, much of it destined for blending, but in 1996 its new owners decided to reintroduce the old style of single malt and the distillery output is now split 50/50 between the unpeated Tobermory and the peated Ledaig expressions, as well as a discreet range of limited releases of both. Equipped with traditional cast iron mash tuns and wooden washbacks, and with all of its whisky unchillfiltered and bottled at 46.3%, Tobermory remains true to its roots to produce a signature style which harks back to the old days.