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Bo'ness Whisky

Historically Bo'ness has had two distilleries the first of which at Pan's Brae produced both malt and grain whisky, the second, at South St., wasn't very successful and only operated for about 25 years

1813 Messer's Tod, Padon and Vannen opened a distillery at Pan's Brae, Corbiehall, which was bought out by the Vannens in 1829. They greatly improved it until 1873 when James Calder and Company purchased it.

Bo'ness Distillery Company, as it was named, had its Pot Stills dismantled and replaced by Coffey Stills for grain whisky output in 1876. The distillery name changed once more in 1894 when it was renamed James Calder & Co. Ltd.

It was once again sold to John Dewar in 1921 before being passed to DCL in 1925, when it was shut down. In the late 19th century the distillery had its own rail link to Bo'ness Harbour, which was mainly used to supply maize, barley was used to a lesser extent as by this time no malt whisky was being distilled. This also meant that a constant supply of peat wasn't necessary.

The output from the Coffey Still was almost 20,000 gallons per week (870,000 gallons/annum), most of which went to the blenders. It was also one of Britain's largest yeast produces with an output of almost 50 tons a week of yeast going to the baking and brewing industries. About 300 tons of "draff" (husks of maize) was also produced and this was allowed to settle from the "spent wash" in dreg ponds before being dried, pelleted, bagged and sold as cattle feed.

Another by-product from the process of making grain whisky is fusel-oil, which up until the outbreak of WWI was considered a waste product (roughly 1 gallon for every 500 gallons of spirit was produced), but was then used to make varnish and aircraft "dope".

Until they were destroyed by fire in the early 1990's the two vast bonded warehouses that stood on the opposite side of the road from the distillery were capable of holding 5,000 barrels of whisky.

1817 Opened in 1817 Grieve Brothers Distillery, South Street, Bo'ness closed in 1842 after operating for about 25 years, until the surviving brother died and the company went bust.

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