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Review Highlights
Birthday trip

Came across this wee gem as we were staying in poolewe, we enjoy some of the distillery tours and... read more

Reviewed October 2, 2018
taramoonstone
,
glasgow
Loch Ewe

Was an ok distillery, whisky though was absolutely awful. It has cute ideas and an excellent bar... read more

Reviewed November 21, 2016
aellituv
,
Manchester, United Kingdom
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21 - 26 of 30 reviews
Reviewed August 15, 2013

The hotel looked to be ok from the bar, but I must stress that we did not stay overnight, we were only interested in seeing the "smallest distillery in Scotland".

John clearly knew plenty of facts about whisky, and gave an entertaining talk which did contain plenty of sales talk about a " learn how to distil your own drink holiday" which is available at the hotel.
It must certainly rate as the smallest distllery in Scotland: the area where the "spirit" was being "aged" contained well under 100 very small barrels. The "spirit" we were given to taste was unaged (I doubt it had seen a barrel) it was completely colourless, and despite John's emblandishments about various flavours within it, both my wife and myself could only taste an unpleasing tang of something like cereal. The Loch Ewe "spirit drink" which we purchased at the bar cost £15 pounds for about 100 ml i.e. equivalent to more than £110 for a standard bottle. The tasters we were givien at the bar were bereft of the sublte nuances of flavour John encouraged us to find within it. Given that they had been "aged" in a spiced rum and a sherry cask for 4 months (distilled Dec 2012, bottled April 2013) I suppose there is little wonder. In John's experience it is possible to "recharge" previously used barrels by swilling some sherry or rum around in them for a few weeks, and perhaps this had not quite achieved the usual results in the drink we tasted.
The concerns I have after thinking back over the visit:
It is noted that it is not referred to as whisky anywhere on the label or certificate that comes with it but a "Spirit drink".
The distillery is housed in an old outbuilding. An old well was reputedly uncovered in here and was a serendipitous find for John as it provided a cooling source of water for the distillation process. The cascade from the stil was covered with an ochre coloured material similar to an iron compound and I hope this water is not used as an actual ingredient. It will not be a copper compund from the stil, as suggested.
One of John's marvellous innovations is to use a green plastic wheelie bin as a fermentation vessel (the same type as used by the council), closing the lid keeps the carbon dioxide over the brew which is apparently supposed to aid the process? What gives me cause for concern is whether it is suitable for producing something which is to be consumed by people.

In my honest and humble opinion, this spirit drink is well below the quality of any of the properly prepared and aged single malt whiskies which I, or my wife, have ever tasted.

1  Thank Jackielee65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2013

I don't know what went wrong on the day I attended, but I didn't have anything like the experience of the others.
We attended and finally found someone to ask about a tour.
We were advised that a tour had already started and it wouldn't be worth us joining in.
Not a problem, we'll come back for the next tour. No one could tell us when the next tour would take place, so we asked if we could buy some of the whiskey. We were led into the 'shop' and told someone would be with us shortly.
The shop was a small room filled with various bits of old bar equipment with price tags on them. We stood there alone for around 15 minutes waiting to purchase some whiskey, but having been ignored for that period of time we left.
There's an unusual disparagy between my experience and that of the others, maybe someone from the distillery could comment.

Date of experience: August 2013
1  Thank DJH02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

I took my parents here for a visit and they (and I) really enjoyed it. The owner has a great love for what he does and this clearly shows through in an informative and entertaining tour. The tasting is great and really shows you how to enjoy a single malt. For £5 per person it is great value and a very worthwhile thing to do when you are in the area.

Date of experience: July 2013
Thank gairlochmanager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

A personalized tour, and opportunity to taste a whiskey unlike anything else. A great counterpoint to every other distillery you might visit in Scotland.

Date of experience: June 2013
Thank historianK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2013

Tours are £5 and last about an hour- perfect for when it is raining :-). The owner was very friendly and gave us some great fishing tips too!

Date of experience: June 2013
Thank STBY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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