North  British Distillery

Maltings at Slateford Road,  Edinburgh

1996

North British Distillery, Gorgie, Edinburgh  -  1996

  Peter Stubbs  www.edinphoto.org.uk                                                                                                 Photo taken August 19, 1996

 

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   North British Distillery, Gorgie, Edinburgh  -  1996

 

North  British Distillery

1996

This is one of the photos I took as part of a project to document people at work in and around Edinburgh.

This photo shows maize or barley (I'm not sure which) at North British Distilleries' maltings in Edinburgh.

UPDATE:  It's probably barley.  See 'Recollections 1 and 2' below.

Here is another photo taken the same day at the maltings:

North British Distillery, Gorgie, Edinburgh  -  1996

More Photos

Here are more photos taken at NB Distillery at Gorgie and at NB Distillery's cooperage at West Calder, West Lothian in the 1990s.

 

1.

Recollections

from George T Smith

Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Thank you to George T Smith, Canada, who wrote:

North British Distillery, Gorgie, Edinburgh  -  1996     North British Distillery, Gorgie, Edinburgh  -  1996

Grain

"The grain shown is almost certainly maize.  Barley is more  usual for single malt whiskies and NB is/was a Lowland grain spirit.

Like all whiskies it must be matured for at least 3 years in wood to  qualify as whisky otherwise it is BPS or British Plain Spirit.  Much  of the grain whisky was sent to London as BPS for further operations  to make gin and liqueurs. I am not sure if NB did that."

George T Smith, British Columbia, Canada:  December 22, 2007.

Grain

The North British Distillery appears to have used barley, maize and wheat. When I visited the maltings in 1996, I saw what was described at the 'Barley Intake',  I saw maize being delivered from Leith, and I was told that they used wheat for neutral spirit which was sold on to make gin and vodka.

The distillery also had cylinders that stored CO2 that was sold on and added to soft drinks.

- Peter Stubbs:  - December 26, 2007

Animal Feed

"Incidentally  the spent wash residue was pumped into open draff ponds and later  drained of excess water before being sent off to be used as cattle  feed.

You may recollect seeing large open topped container lorries 
piled high with damp and steaming draff?

George T Smith, British Columbia, Canada:  December 22, 2007.

Animal Feed

In his book: 'The NB: The First Hundred Years', Leslie Gardiner mentions that in the early days at Wheatfield Road, about 900 tons of grain went through the mashing process every week and the 'draft and dreg' was carried away by the farmers' passing carts.  By the 1940s it was being converted to high protein livestock food named 'North British Golden Grains'.

- Peter Stubbs:  - December 26, 2007

George T Smith, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada:  December 22, 2007.

 

2.

Recollections

from Andy Merrylees

Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

Thank you to Andy Merrylees for the comments below.  Andy who has recently been teaching the welding trade, north of Vancouver, Canada, writes:

Saladin boxes

"I worked at the North British Distillery at the Slateford Road end, long before the West Approach Road was built.

The photo above is of barley in the Saladin boxes.  I used to repair any of the steel that would come off them.  They had a track for the auto-raker to turn the barley over. 

They used to pump the Barley in through a rubber hose in to the boxes manually with forced water, and the water would drain away in sieve-like floors into pipes. 

I think those boxes were 60 feet long by 20 feet wide and six feet high.  On the auto-raker they had a few steel-bladed agitators that would travel the length of the boxes in different time periods and turn the barley over."

Andy Merrylees, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada:  December 22, 2007.

 

More recollections of the North British Distillery

 

 

North British Distillery

Background

Distillery Photos

Cooperage  Photos

  

 

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