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Glasgow’s Back on the Scotch Whisky Map

Sean Murphy, an author at The Scotsman Food and Drink, weighs in on Glasgow’s first Dedicated Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery in Over 100 Years.

There are few more rewarding things in life than watching projects you are excited about coming to life before your eyes. Particularly when they not only meet your expectations but surpass them.

When I first found out they were converting the stunning clock tower building on the banks of the Clyde into a new single malt Distillery, I was fascinated and intrigued to see how they would go about creating Glasgow's newest distillery.

it was hard to explain to tourists that the closest whisky distillery was nearly half an hour away and not as they had hoped, within walking distance.

Having previously been a barman for over five years in one of the city's most popular whisky bars, it was hard to explain to tourists that the closest whisky distillery was nearly half an hour away and not as they had hoped, within walking distance.

Thankfully, though I no longer work in the bar, I know my cousins and my girlfriend will be delighted in being able to not only recommend those other distilleries around the city but also finally one that's practically on the doorstep of the city centre - and the bar itself.

The lifeblood of Glasgow, and the artery that helped make the city the beating heart of the British Empire's industrial progress, the Clyde, though quiet now, was once one of the busiest areas in the country for commerce.

The group behind the then, as yet unnamed, distillery were promising that it would not only be a site that produced whisky but also one that paid homage to the river's rich past.

And being that Tim Morrison, the hugely successful industry veteran behind AD Rattray, was taking the lead on the scheme and had enlisted the help of some prestigious names in the world of whisky, including the late, great Dr Jim Swan, I was convinced early on that this new distillery would be something special.

nothing could have prepared me for the spectacle of the final placement of the Speyside built stills.

Having personally witnessed the project grow, from rumours online to a press release in my inbox, to physically seeing the land around the old building stripped out and the scaffolding erected as I drove by on the expressway on my way west of the city - nothing could have prepared me for the spectacle of the final placement of the Speyside built stills.

Now sitting proudly on the side of the old building, glass frontage looking out towards the river and the transport museum, the still room gives visitors views of the river and the Tall Ship reinforcing the connection between the distillery and that of the city's nautical past.

the WHISKY shop which greets you before the tour is a treasure trove of excellent whiskies from across the country.

The interior of the building itself is a delightful mix of old and new, and the whisky shop which greets you before the tour is a treasure trove of excellent whiskies from across the country - and not just a selection of the company's own choosing, a criticism which is often levelled at other visitor centres.

The tour is fun, educational and filled with nice little touches that I won't spoil here because you really should come and see them for yourself.

As a tourist destination, it adds yet another layer of authenticity as a whisky destination to a city that definitely needs more recognition for its contributions to the world of Scotch.

if the early signs are anything to go by, the spirit will be just as polished as the distillery itself.

Now, I guess I'll just have to wait - with bated breath - for the actual whisky to be ready in 2020, but, if the early signs are anything to go by, the spirit will be just as polished as the distillery itself.

Book your own tour of The Clydeside Distillery here.