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Glenkinchie Distillery Visitor Centre
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Glenkinchie Distillery Visitor Centre

Few parts of Scotland can boast of more history than this. In 1745 Prince Charles Edward Stuart reached the peak of his brief power at Prestonpans on the Firth of Forth just north of Glenkinchie, where his Highlanders defeated John Cope's Hanoverian forces with such certainty that London itself seemed under threat. The contemporary folk song 'Johnny Cope' records Cope's shocking defeat and his reaction after fleeing back to Dunbar, leaving his men. Distilling mostly illegal was taking place here long before the skills of crop rotation were know; in 1777 Edinburgh housed perhaps 400 illicit distilleries. When the law was changed to permit smaller licensed distilleries, many farmers took out licenses; by the time Glenkinchie was founded in 1837, 115 licensed distilleries were recorded in the Lowlands, though their product would probably not pass muster today. Their success of course was in part driven by the remoteness of Speyside and Islay distilleries from their markets before the coming of the railway. By contrast Lothian distilleries could make their malt readily available to the Edinburgh merchants, many of whom took shares in the leading distilleries to protect their interests. Today with just two Lowland distilleries left in production Glenkinchie is the undisputed champion of the light Lowland style. With its interesting visitior centre and charming setting, this also makes an ideal first distillery visit for today's tourists.

Opening times:
November 2019 until April 2020: Glenkinchie is undergoing a refurbishment. Please contact the distillery or consult our website for opening times and tour times. Tel: 01875342012
T: 01875 342012
A: Pencaitland, Tranent, EH34 5ET
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