All about Cameronbridge distillery
Cameronbridge Distillery sits on the banks of the River Leven
, just within the southern boundary of the town of Windygates, about 15 miles north of Edinburgh, as a crow flies. Actually, the river winds its way through the distillery grounds.
Cameronbridge is an impressive beast. But before we talk about its shear size and capacity, we must tip our hat to its history. In fact, this site is arguably the oldest continually operating distillery in Scotland
, and could be the oldest grain distillery in the world
Robert Haig operated a still (under the radar) on the site at least as far back as 1655
. In 1824
, one of his great grandchildren -- John Haig
-- formally built and opened Cameron Bridge Distillery there. John's cousin, Robert Stein, built the first continuous still for the shop, based on a design still in use today.
It has changed, been renovated, and expanded many times since then, only closing briefly during World War II. Cameronbridge is the largest distillery in Scotland. Interestingly, the capacity is often misreported simply because the numbers are so high.
Several sources claim that the current capacity is 30 million liters
-- which is a heck of a lot! But in those reports is an error. The actual capacity is 30 million imperial gallons
, which is roughly 136 million liters
, all cranked out of three massive, custom-made stills running continuously, full-tilt, 24 hours per day.
Every drop of the spirit produced here is consumed in the production of Diageo portfolio spirits
, including grain Whiskies, blends, Smirnoff Vodka, and now even both Tanqueray
and Gordon's Gin.
There are a few specialty distillery releases
-- including the "Cameron Brig" and "Haig Grain" Whiskies -- but drinkers of Johnnie Walker's and Bell's get a fair share of it.