A mission to craft one of the world’s truly great whiskies is the main aim of the new Ardgowan Distillery in Inverkip when it opens this year.

The ongoing construction of a distillery by the independent Ardgowan Distillery Company of Scotch Whisky enthusiasts and professionals on the Ardgowan Estate at Bankfoot Farm was the subject of a talk by David Kerr at a recent meeting of Largs Probus Club.

David advised that there had been an earlier Ardgowan Distillery, but this had been bombed in 1941.

With an investment of some £20million construction of the new state of the art carbon neutral facility had started in October 2023 with Muir Construction as the principal contractor and Synergy Construction undertaking the foundation and groundwork.

The steel frame is being fabricated and erected by Hescott Engineering with the roofing and cladding being undertaken by Fowler Mackenzie. The distillery equipment is being provided by Briggs of Burton with the stills currently being manufactured by their subsidiary company McMillan at their facility in Prestonpans.

The distillery will be completed later this year and some of the farm outbuildings, such as the former stables and sawmill, will be utilised in connection with the development.

David went in detail through the whisky distilling process and advised that the company’s mission was to craft one of the world’s truly great whiskies using the three fresh spring water sources on the estate, Scottish produced barley, yeast and the skill of the great whisky makers.

The company are already laying down malt whisky from across Scotland in ex-sherry casks and bottling at a minimum of 46% ABV without chill-filtering and with its natural colour intact. This process results in high-quality limited-edition whiskies, many of which are sold locally by Geraldo’s. Its “Clyde built” Whisky was used in the recent launch of the MV Glen Rosa ferry built by Ferguson Marine in Port Glasgow.

Phil Theaker thanked David for his informative speech and referred to his own career in the technical side of the brewing industry. He welcomed the forward thinking and go-ahead nature of the company and suggested a visit by members be made to the new facility once completed.

Largs Probus Club will next meet in the Willowbank Hotel on Wednesday April 17 at 10am to hear a talk on 'Treasure Trove' by Jim Walker and on April 24  when John McLean will speak on 'Life of a  country park ranger'.