The New Distillery: Pride of Rothes
Work began on the new distillery in the Summer of 1878 beginning with the construction of the stillhouse, which stood out under an imposing pagoda roof. A large warehouse and mashing room followed. And, on 28th December 1879, the first pure spirit flowed from The Glenrothes distillery.
A lade – or mill stream – was constructed to divert some of the burn to turn a water wheel that provided the distillery with all the power it needed. A railway siding brought in the barley and took away the filled casks. And most importantly of all, the soft water provided by the springs upstream ensured there was a plentiful supply of cold, crystal-clear water. As a tribute to the people of Rothes, the footpath that crossed the estate remained open, giving the local people the freedom to roam through The Glenrothes Distillery.
As a man of whisky, James Stuart was convinced that he should use traditional distillation methods alongside the latest advances in production technology. His conviction was built on four founding principles: having access to a nearby source of water to ensure the excellence and purity of his new make spirit, a slower than usual distillation to make the mellower single malt he was aiming for, the best sherry seasoned casks to provide a wider range of flavours and a whisky always bottled at natural colour.