Glen Luss Distillery has been founded by Trystan Powell, Patrick Colquhoun (right) and Daniel Lewis, graduates of the University of Strathclyde MBA.
By Bill Heaney
Patrick Colquhoun, the laird of Loch Lomondside, is going into the Scotch whisky business.
The Chieftain of the Luss Highland Gathering will soon be able to offer competitors and spectators a dram of Glen Luss from his own special brand.
A quaff from a quaich of the finest Scottish spirit, 25,000 litres of which will be lovingly laid down annually from the laird’s own distillery at the heart of the village.
Patrick is supported in this exciting new venture by his lovely wife, Charlotte, and his parents, Sir Malcom and Lady Colquhoun of Rossdhu.
The silvery streams of crystal clear water which gurgle over pebbles and rush down swift-flowing burns off the bens, where kilted athletes compete for coveted titles at the summer games, will become an integral part of the Glen Luss uisge-beatha.
The water may even have brushed the gills of a fine salmon or two leaping upstream to the redds to lay their eggs before returning to the Loch itself and making their way back down the Rivers Leven and Clyde and out to the sea again.
The water of life that is Scotch whisky and several other spirited drinks, including gin, are going to be produced in a magical setting that for some of us recalls the mythical village of Brigadoon.
Credit for having created the first blends of Scotch has been given to a monk, Friar John Cor, who delighted his community by doing something special to distilled water some 500 years ago.
The launch of Glen Luss will take place in Spring 2021, possibly at the Luss Highland Games, which thousands of visitors and locals flock to attend each July.
A large party of members of the Clan Colquhoun travel from the United States and the world over to spectate and participate.
All the necessary permissions are now in place with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for Glen Luss to become a legal part of Scotland’s largest export business.
It wasn’t always that way, of course.
In centuries past, the Loch Lomondside bens and “floating” islands were infamous for moonlighting and salmon poaching.
The locals made their own whisky in illicit stills in the folds of the hills and secluded glens.
The most famous Scottish excise man of all, the poet Robert Burns, toured the West Highlands to investigate for himself.
He stayed overnight on the lochside at Cameron House with the novelist Tobias Smollet and no doubts sank a few drams.
Dumbarton, which was once referred to as “the whisky capital of the world” by Lord Alcluith, is just a few miles down the road from Luss.
Scottish distillers were so impressed by this that they made his Lordship a Keeper of the Quaich.
Another literary figure, the poet William Wordsworth, and his sister came to holiday in a cottage down by the lochside at Luss Pier.
I am told there were illicit stills on a number of the Loch Lomond islands and there was a Customs and Excise boat that patrolled the loch.
When the excise men rowed silently out to the islands, whether it was at dead of night or through a misty dawn, families had their own warning system to alert the island distillers.
The ruins of at least one distillery can be found on the islands, some of which were occupied by the Earls of Lennox.
Glen Luss Distillery has been founded by Trystan Powell, Patrick Colquhoun and Daniel Lewis, graduates of the University of Strathclyde MBA.
They bring together over forty years of combined industry and business experience to this project across operations management, customer experience and sales.
Luss is a picturesque village in the heart of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
It is the historic home of the Clan Colquhoun and the Glen Luss range will take inspiration from the history of the area and the heritage of the clan.
Glen Luss itself rises to the west of the village of Luss and is surrounded by six bens, most of which are over 600m high.
These are Beinn Eich, Beinn Lochain, Cruach-An- t-Sithein and Beinn Mhanaich.
The streams and burns flowing down from the from the mountains are as clear and fresh as the day is long.
They are one of the sources of water flowing into Loch Lomond, the largest body of freshwater (by surface area) in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The rushing stream of Luss Water, which runs down from the hills to Loch Lomond.
If you have a desire to taste Glen Luss, then follow these instructions:
1) Founder’s Club Benefits
There are 5 tier categories that come with a variety of benefits for members and are priced accordingly to the benefit offered. The specific details of each package can be found under the respective tier packages on the Founder’s Club Page. Fulfilment of the tier benefits will be staged based on when the available products are ready.
- Earlier for merchandise, distillery site-based activities and quick turnaround products such as gin
- And longer lead times for aged products
Additionally, members have early access to new product releases from the distillery, their names displayed in a prominent Founders’ Club display, and invitation to a private annual member’s event.
The Founder’s Club Members Portal will provide more detail on specific delivery schedules when the information is known, and products are ready for dispatching. Members will also receive notification emails when benefits have been dispatched, and this will include any tracking numbers or references for tracing the delivery. In the event the benefits don’t arrive, please contact Glen Luss Distillery by email firstname.lastname@example.org to resolve the issue.
2) Signing Up Process
You can sign-up for a Founder’s Club package through the Glen Luss Distillery website here. Once you have selected the package you want and your payment processed, you will receive an order confirmation and welcome email that provides you with your order information and welcomes you to the Founder’s Club. During the sign-up process you will be asked to create a username and password for use in accessing the Member’s Portal. If you wish to purchase more than one membership package, you will be permitted to do so, however it will be under a separate transaction (repeating the process mentioned above). Similarly, if you wish to purchase a membership package as gift for someone else, there is an option available within the purchase page and when selected, you will be requested to provide additional information regarding the recipient. All confirmation and purchase emails will only be sent to the purchaser.
3) Resetting Username or Password
In the event that a member forgets their username or password they can email email@example.com to request a reset and confirming some basic identification questions.
4) Delivery & Collection
You will be required to pay extra for delivery, beyond the Founder’s Club package price and charged at standard rates, and it might not be possible for us to deliver to some locations. We will deliver the goods to the address you specify for delivery in your order. It is important that this address is accurate. Please be precise about where you would like the goods left if you are out when we deliver. We cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage to the goods once they have been delivered in accordance with your delivery instructions (unless this is caused by our negligence). We will aim to deliver the goods by the date quoted for delivery, but delivery times are not guaranteed. If delivery is delayed due to any cause beyond our reasonable control, the delivery date will be extended by a reasonable period and we will contact you to arrange an alternative time. You will become the owner of the goods you have ordered when they have been delivered to you. Once goods have been delivered to you, they will be held at your own risk and we will not be liable for their loss or destruction. It is possible to change your nominated delivery location at any time, by contacting Glen Luss Distillery at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject to available delivery locations and provided sufficient notice is given before the products are to be despatched (delivery costs to the purchaser will be adjusted based on the revised delivery location). Alternatively, you can also arrange collection of your goods directly from the distillery by contacting us to arrange a suitable date and time.
5) Duty & Tax
Duty on alcohol is mandated by HM Revenue & Customs, based on the percentage of pure alcohol within the product. The current duty rate in the UK is £28.74 per litre of pure alcohol (valid at January 2020). The current rate for VAT in the UK is 20%. Both Duty & VAT are charged on the products at the point of bottling or removal from the Bonded Warehouse, and the rates are subject to change at the discretion of the UK government. For those members residing outside the UK, the rates of Duty & Taxes may differ and will be the responsibility of the purchaser, and all products shall be exported in bottled form.
Note: It is the responsibility of the purchaser to be aware of prevailing regulations in their country of residence regarding the importation of alcohol.
Glen Luss Distillery will have default label designs incorporating standardised branding in line with our other products. Founder’s Club releases will have customised designs aligning the label design to the package benefits and membership tier. Bespoke labelling requests can be made in writing prior to production and dispatching, however, may incur additional costs.
7) Bottling (Clan Chief Package Only)
Costs related to bottling and labelling are not included in the membership tier price (bottle or label design is at the discretion of individual members; however, the label will contain Glen Luss branding and trademarks in addition to member’s design). When a member wishes to bottle their cask, a request in writing shall be submitted to Glen Luss Distillery to arrange a suitable time and date for bottling, and to agree the specific requirements (bottle & label design and quantity to be bottled). All bottling will take place on site at Glen Luss Distillery, using the same process and ingredients (i.e. water for reducing cask strength spirit to bottling strength spirit) as other products produced on site.
8) Cask Visits (Clan Chief Package Only)
You are welcome to visit your cask by contacting the distillery directly to arrange a suitable time and date. We request notice of 5 working days for any cask visit and 10 working days if a sample is requested to be collected at the time of the visit. Glen Luss Distillery is a busy, working distillery and there will be times when visits are not possible due to the production schedule or annual leave.
9) Cask Samples (Clan Chief Package Only)
You are welcome to order a spirit sample from your cask (contact us for specific process and price). Samples will be limited to 1 per year, per cask.