Lochlea had always been a dairy farm, up until 2006, when Neil and Jen moved here. They farmed pedigree beef cattle until 2014, when they decided that for a farm of this size to be viable, they needed to do something very different.
Barley had historically been grown on the farm, mainly as livestock feed, and so in 2015 they embarked on an experiment: growing 50 acres of malting barley.
Working away quietly, learning from our (not too frequent) mistakes, exploring the possibilities and making contacts in the malting industry, gave us the confidence to make a big decision: we’d develop and operate a single malt distillery here at Lochlea.
Construction began in 2017, converting the former piggery, byre, and midden in the heart of the farm steading into the distillery, and repurposing the cattle sheds into bonded warehouses.
They secured all of the licenses in 2018, and the distillery was commissioned in August 2018.
Since then, they have been growing our barley and the distillery team have been skillfully and patiently making spirit.
Rooted in Scottish history, we are very proud that Robert Burns called Lochlea his home throughout his formative years, from 1777 until his father’s death in 1784.
By day, Burns worked hard on the farm and in the evening, he enjoyed the company of his friends, debating at the Bachelors’ Club in nearby Tarbolton. The ground here has inspired the honest, passionate, and progressive nature of Lochlea whisky.