Situated near Pencaitland is the one of the finest malt distilleries of Scotland. It is set in the valley of the Kinchie Burn.
Founded back in 1837, Milton Distillery as it was known was set up by brothers George and John Rate. Glenkinchie Distillery, as it later became known, is now owned by Diageo (who also own Johnnie Walker). It produces over 2.3 Million litres of 12-year old single malt per year (replacing the former 10-year old) from one wash still and one spirit still using water from a spring situated deep below the distillery that is filled by water from the Lammermuir Hills. It occupies a site of about 17 acres. While twenty staff operated the distillery in the 1920s, fewer do now due to it being semi-automated. Only two operators are required to work at any one time, working shifts to maintain production almost 365 days a year.
The distillery fell into disuse between 1853 and 1880. Ten years later it was rebuilt, and again in the 1920s. After World War II, the manager fed his prize-winning cattle on the spent grain. In 1969, the distillery stopped malting its own grain and turned the malting floors into a museum.
The distillery’s proximity to Edinburgh has resulted in its malt whisky being referred to as the ‘Edinburgh Malt.’ The whisky is 43% volume, and tastes of a light, soft, and sweet tipple, and drier than most other lowland malts with a dry, soothing finish. Whisky is matured in Amontillado sherry casks to make it a honey golden colour.
Glenkinchie own about 85 acres of surrounding arable land that is rented to a local farmer.
You can join over 20,000 visitors who tour the distillery and Visitor Centre each year. The Visitor Centre is open almost year round (except between Christmas and New Year).