Stirling Distillery have distilled the first spirit to be produced in the city in over 170 years. With the original distillery having closed in 1852, this is a historic landmark for distilling in the area and the Lowland region as a whole.

The first mash at the new distillery took place on Tuesday 3rd October 2023. Over the coming months the team at the distillery will perfect the distilling process as they strive to craft their unique take on the gentle character of the typical Lowland whisky.

Opening in 2019, Stirling Distillery initially produced gin. Even though their gin has been highly acclaimed, whisky was always an ambition for the distillery.

In 2021 the team launched their independent bottling range, Sons of Scotland. These whiskies were drawn from some of the finest stocks from across Scotland as well as celebrating Stirlingshire’s whisky making heritage.

Now with their foot in the door, Stirling Distillery have revealed the plans for their own whisky. Their first releases are expected to arrive late 2026.

Additionally, the distillery have announced their VI Casks for King James range. This will be a series of bi-annually released whiskies highlighting the influence of six different casks on the young distillery’s spirit. Each will be limited to 300 bottles, with the first due to be available in 2027. The name comes from the fact that it is believed that King James stabled his horses on the land that the distillery is built on.

Naturally these initial releases will be incredibly limited, largely due to the distillery’s relatively small 10,000 litre capacity. However, there are already fundraising plans to cover the cost of increasing production as well as improving the visitor experience at the distillery.

Perhaps unfairly, whisky from the Lowlands isn’t regarded with the same reverence when compared to the giants of Speyside, the icons of Islay or the cult heroes of Campbeltown.

However, the past decade or so has seen a number of distilleries founded in the Lowlands that are all producing great whisky. Glasgow and Fife each have multiple distilleries that are putting out high quality, well-received whiskies (we’ll give special mention here to Daftmill who’ve already cultivated a particularly dedicated fanbase), while Edinburgh’s Holyrood Distillery has just released it’s eagerly anticipated inaugural malt.

Elsewhere south of the Highland line, Ayshire’s Lochlea have made waves with their early releases and in Dumfries Annandale Distillery continue to impress with their range of peated and unpeated single cask offerings.

With all these Lowland distilleries making a name for themselves, it’s the perfect time for the revival of distilling in one of Scotland’s most historic cities.

Of course, we have to wait a few years to see where Stirling Distillery’s first releases will fit in the overall picture of Lowland whisky. Nevertheless, it’s an exciting time for this oft-overlooked whisky producing region.