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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Inverleven Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Lowland Distillery Information 1938-1991

Inverleven Malt Whisky Distillery History


The Inverleven is a distillery within a distillery constructed in 1938 within the Dumbarton Grain Distillery by Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd and operated under license by George Ballantine & Son Ltd


The malt whisky is classified as a Lowlander whisky despite the fact that the distillery straddles the old political Highland line This line was introduced to define Lowland and Highland whiskies for tax and production regulations.



Situated next to the column still buildings that are used for the production of grain whisky, there were two pot still houses that produced malt whisky. One with a conventional pair of pot still set up producing Inverleven and in the other a Lomond still set up with rectifiers that was installed in 1959 that produced the 'Lomond' malt.


Hiram Walker installed Lomond stills at Glenburgie producing Glencraign. At Miltonduff producing Mosstowie and at Scapa where the Lomand still was used as a wash still.


Both malt still houses were closed in 1991 and mothballed in 1992.


The malt whisky produced was an important component of Ballantine’s blends.


Inverleven Single Malt Scotch Distillery Bottlings 


No official Bottlings


Inverleven 1973  Deoch an Doras 48.85%

Distilled in 1973

Bottled 2010

Cask Strength Limited Edition of 500 bottles


Nose: This rare old malt whisky is full of wonderful light fruity citrus notes

Taste: Intermingled with creamy toffee and sweet candy apple flavours.


The Gaelic saying ‘deoch an doras’ translates as ‘drink at the door’ and refers to the final farewell drink


Inverleven single malt has been bottled by independents

and  is extremely rare.


Inverleven Single Malt Scotch Whisky Independent Bottlings  


Duncan Taylor Collection,

Gordon & MacPhail,

Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing),

Peerless (Duncan Taylor),

Rarest of the Rare (Duncan Taylor)



Inverleven Single Malt Scotch Whisky 1990 Gordon & MacPhail,


Colour: Light straw.


Neat Without Water

Nose: Soft fruits - peaches and strawberries. Subtle spices and a malty note. A rounding vanilla sweetness


Palate: Spicy with hints of cedar wood and white pepper. Some fragrant/floral flavours develop. Drying.


With Water

Nose: More citrus fruit aromas detectable with a slight waxy note. The sweet, vanilla element remains with a hint of roasted malt.


Palate: Perfumed flavours with traces of liquorice and aniseed. A little fruitiness emerges.


Body: Light.


Finish: Subtle hints of fruit and spices

Cask Type: Refill Bourbon Barrels.

Whisky Style: Described as a “Highlander wearing the trews”, perhaps more body and character than one would expect from a Lowland Malt but a pleasant, refreshing whisky.

Inverleven Distillery,

2 Glasgow Road, Dumbarton, Dumbartonshire,

G82 1ND


Mothballed in 1991


No Visitor facilities

Inverleven Scotch Whisky

Distillery Style Tasting Notes


Nose: Fresh and fruity.


Palate: Light bodied. Creamy and citric, slightly nutty.


Finish: Fresh and delicate.


Built in 1938 within the Dumbarton grain distillery

Location Lowlands region Western district, Dumbarton

Water source Loch Lomond.


Operated in 2 still houses 1 with 2 pot stills the second had a Lomond pattern still.


Mothballed in 1991