Welcome to the highly decorated ‘new kid on the Scottish block’ – Lochlea.

In the two years their spirit has been able to be called ‘whisky’ – they have picked up no less than TWO GOLD medals for their headline product – The Lochlea ‘Our Barley’ Expression and no less than THREE ‘Icons of Whisky’ awards for the distillery itself. These guys are not mucking around!

With the team they’ve put together it’s no wonder Lochlea is kicking huge goals in the industry so relatively soon. Strong leadership has always been fundamental to the Lochlea strategy. Initially led by industry legend Malcolm Rennie (Ardbeg, Bruichladdich, Glen Moray, and now Rosebank) Lochlea is now in the more than capable hands of John Campbell. You may have heard of John, or even the humble distillery he used to manage before he came to Lochlea – a little outfit named… LAPHROAIG!

In the case of the Lochlea ‘Our Barley’, the own-grown barley is fermented and distilled before being filled into a mix of first fill bourbon, Oloroso Sherry and STR (Shaved, Toasted and Re-charred) casks. Bottled as Lochlea’s flagship product at 46%abv.

It has won GOLD medals at both the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the Scottish Field Summer Challenge in 2023.

For April at the SMWC we are determined to SMASH the $100 price barrier! We know times are tough at the moment and we’re doing all we can to keep us drinking the good stuff, at a cost we can all afford! So for April we are bloody excited to be able to offer our members TWO whiskies – both under $100!

Lochlea is a distillery that started its life as a dairy farm. In fact, a dairy farm rooted in Scottish history. Non other than Scotland’s favourite son – the Ploughman Poet – Robert Burns himself called Lochlea his home throughout his formative years, from 1777 until his father’s death in 1784. I don’t think a location can actually get any more Scottish than that, can it?

In 2006 the Dairy farm was converted from dairy to beef cattle by Neil and Jen McGeoch who also then grew a little barley as feed stock for the cattle. IN 2014 they decided to experiment with a 50-acre planting of malting barley – and based on their subsequent success with this – decided to ‘go all in’ and built a distillery on the property in 2017 which was commissioned in 2018.

The Lochlea Our Barley expression represents everything the McGeoch’s set out to achieve. A totally paddock-to-bottle, award winning, single malt whisky of their very own. In just a few short years not only have they achieved that with the ‘Our Barley’, they’ve also gone on to have the distillery itself recognised for its excellence for two years in a row at the World Whiskies Icons of Whisky Awards. An amazing feat!

The Scottish Lowlands are normally known for delicate whiskies with floral and grassy notes. I guess it could be argued that traditionally, Lowland distilleries have produced drams doted on by lovers of the aperitif and ‘mellow malt’. Well, Lochlea aims (and hits the mark I Must say!) to turn this preconception on it’s head. Lochlea whisky is bursting with juicy fruit and grain-forward qualities that make it different to what you might know of Lowland whisky.

The combination of their own barley, plus much longer fermentation times than normal (they use two styles of fermentation running 66 and a 116 hour fermentations) supplies them with ‘balance and depth’ in the final spirit. Their distillation runs are purposefully slow to allow as much copper contact as possible (a good, concise, article about why this is important – here). The use of only the finest casks in maturation completes the ‘holy trilogy’ of the Lochlea mantra.


Nose: A big burst of sweet apple juice initially, but you then get a zesty marmalade backbone. Jasmine flowers, some fresh cut grassy notes and freshly opened packet of Wizz-Fizz™

Palate: Masses of sweet fruit – but with a lovely warm ginger-spice to counter that sweetness. Creamy vanilla custard and also a real meatiness gives this fantastic whisky big shoulders, not to mention a fantastic complexity.

Finish: A real carnival ride this one – Juicy-Fruit gum morphs into biscuit spices then ginger nut biscuits becoming an almost umami note

If you equate Lowland whisky with dry, crisp – almost delicate – aperitif style drinks – then this is going to either change your perception of ‘the Lowland Style’ – or cement it as ‘the exception that proves the rule’. This whisky is all-at-once sweet and complex and muscular yet gentle and creamy-smooth.

  • PRICE : $99

  • ABV : 46%

  • BOTTLE : 700ml




a MYSTERY Scottish Speyside single malt…700ml of non-peated, single sherry cask finished whisky for only $99


‘Our Barley’ is our ongoing core single malt expression, which sits alongside our limited edition releases.

Our acclaimed Master Blender, John Campbell has carefully honed this recipe, and with a combination of Bourbon, Sherry and STR Casks there is a whole new level of depth and complexity to the final whisky.

Nose: Pear syrup, fruit bonbons, warm cut grass, marmalade

Palate: Golden syrup, pepper, rye bread, macadamia nuts, cream soda

Colour: Long finish with a lasting orange beeswax note


Lochlea had always been a dairy farm, up until 2006, when Neil and Jen moved here. They farmed pedigree beef cattle until 2014, when they decided that for a farm of this size to be viable, they needed to do something very different.

Barley had historically been grown on the farm, mainly as livestock feed, and so in 2015 they embarked on an experiment: growing 50 acres of malting barley.
Working away quietly, learning from our (not too frequent) mistakes, exploring the possibilities and making contacts in the malting industry, gave us the confidence to make a big decision: we’d develop and operate a single malt distillery here at Lochlea.

Construction began in 2017, converting the former piggery, byre, and midden in the heart of the farm steading into the distillery, and repurposing the cattle sheds into bonded warehouses.

They secured all of the licenses in 2018, and the distillery was commissioned in August 2018.

Since then, they have been growing our barley and the distillery team have been skillfully and patiently making spirit.

Rooted in Scottish history, we are very proud that Robert Burns called Lochlea his home throughout his formative years, from 1777 until his father’s death in 1784.

By day, Burns worked hard on the farm and in the evening, he enjoyed the company of his friends, debating at the Bachelors’ Club in nearby Tarbolton. The ground here has inspired the honest, passionate, and progressive nature of Lochlea whisky.