We got to taste a Scottish Whisky from Ardgowan Distillery. In the Clydebuilt collection, Shipwright is a blended whisky full of character, let us tell you why.
Shipwright is the second whisky to be made under the Clydebuilt label and blended by Master Whisky Maker Max McFarlane.
Max was tasked to source some of the finest casks of whisky to enable him to create a collection of whiskies labelled Clydebuilt. Max has a short, one-mile commute to the Ardgowan Distillery, which is fortunate after having to sample his creations daily.
Illicit stills and smuggling have been part of the history of the Ardgowan area for hundreds of years. Duties imposed on goods such as tobacco, whisky and tea after The Union of the Crowns in 1707 meant that illicit trade in duty-free goods became a particularly profitable endeavour for anyone in the area with a boat. In the 18th and 19th centuries, smuggling was a significant part of Scotland’s economy, and the Firth of Clyde became a favourite haunt of merchants dealing in contraband.
Ardgowan reconnected with whisky-making again in 1890, and the original Ardgowan Distillery Company Limited was formed. A whisky distillery was built on Baker Street in Greenock. The distillery operated through the early 1900s and then, before World war II, converted to make industrial alcohol. The alcohol was part of a fiery mix to fuel RAF fighter planes. The original distillery was almost destroyed on 7 May 1941, during the Greenock Blitz. A building was erected within a month to allow production to continue.
Ardgowan Distillery has ambitious plans to build a fantastic new distillery and visitor centre on the Ardgowan Estate near Inverkip, west of Glasgow. Their vision is to produce a flagship seven-year-old lowland single malt with a maritime influence – a whisky like no other.
The distillery design is complete, and the company is securing the final investment required to make the dream a reality. It will then be a year or two until Ardgowan produces its first spirit, followed by a few years of maturing in sherry casks. It will become a Scotch whisky of quality and character. Great whisky takes patience.
The distillery will be unique as a Lowland distillery with maritime characteristics. Proximity to the sea and the Gulf Stream, it is the perfect place to distil Single Malt because of the quality of the water from the local spring, which is beautifully clean and sweet.
Water is the lifeblood of distilleries, and the local spring that provides the Ardgowan Distillery with its pure water is part of a network of springs. Robert the Bruce is reputed to have camped near the spring, and his weary horse drank deeply from its sweet waters.
The distillery will be on the Ardgowan Estate, within 45 minutes of Glasgow by car, 10 minutes walk from Inverkip Marina, and close to the Inverkip railway station.
The second whisky in the Clydebuilt series, Shipwright, was released to acclaim by Ardgowan customers and industry experts. It won the Master Medal at the Scotch Whisky Masters 2022.
On the nose, you smell marzipan, dried spices, hints of tobacco and Ceylon tea. You get flavours of rich dark notes of black cherries, with treacle tones and orange peel. The finish gives you a lasting spicy taste.
Max McFarlane, Master Whisky Maker, Ardgowan Distillery,
“Take a dram of Shipwright, breathe in the waves of marzipan, Ceylon tea, dried spices and hints of tobacco – roll the dram to the front of mouth and on the tip of the tongue you’ll find orange peel, rich dark notes of black cherries, and treacle. Finally, Shipwright finishes gently, dry at first, then gliding into lingering spicy notes.”
Shipwright is a unique limited-edition blend combining four distinctive single malt whiskies from Highland and Speyside distilleries. They have matured in first-fill Oloroso sherry casks.
Sit, savour, and relax with this exceptional whisky.
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