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
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.
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
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.