LEXICON: From Litre to Lyne Arm

When the letter ‘L’ occurs at the beginning of a word, it is often jabbered by
Scotsmen as if they were drunk. As it turns out, it’s just a feature of the local
dialect which still retains many elements of the Scottish Gaelic language.
Or at least that’s one possible explanation - Scotland is the home of Scotch
whisky after all.  Anyway, follow me on Twitter or Facebook for news on updates.


L is more than just a letter - it’s also the abbreviation for litre.
The average whisky label shows a confusing amount of information.
The Ladybank Company of Distillers Club seems to have been dodgy.
Ladyburn was nothing more than a set of stills within the Girvan complex.
The Lagavulin distillery is located on the ‘Kildalton’ shore of Islay.
The force behind the Lakes distillery is Paul Currie (founder of  Arran).
Laphroaig was 'officially' founded in 1815, but may actually be even older.
The business model of The Last Drop relies on the misfortune of others.
A lauter mash tun has a false bottom, enabling liquids to be drawn off.
The 'lautering' part of brewing involves seperating the wort from the mash.
Ledaig is the peated malt whisky variety from the Tobermory distillery.
The legumes plant family (Leguminosae) includes beans, peas, lentils, etc.

The ‘especially treated’ Loch Dhu whisky was distilled at Mannochmore.
The Loch Ewe micro-distillery can't really be compared to other distilleries.
Lake Loch Lomond is the water source for the distillery with the same name.
The Loch Lomond malt whisky distillery started production in 1966.
In 1993 Loch Lomond became a grain whisky distillery as well.
Loch Uigedale on the isle of Islay is one of Ardbeg's water sources.
The brand name ‘Lochindaal’ has been used for ‘bastard’ bottlings.
The (Royal) Lochnagar distillery was built to replace a predecessor.
Lochside distillery near the east coast didn’t have its own water source.

Independent bottler Lombard is located on the Isle of Man.
A Lomond Still is sort of a pot still 2.0 with an adjustable rectifier head.
The London Distillery Company is still looking for investors. 
The most distinguishing feature of 'Lone Wolf' is their trigger-happy lawyers.
The 'Long John' brand of blended Scotch was named after John McDonald.
Long John International Ltd. became a subsidiary of Seager Evans in 1936.
The Longmorn malt whisky distillery was founded in 1895 by John Duff.
Longrow is a peated malt whisky variety from Springbank distillery.
The 'Lossie' area in Speyside is home to almost a dozen distilleries.
The Lossie River provides the water for Glen Moray distillery.
The Lost Distillery Company specialises in poaching old brand names.
The name 'Lothian' refers to the area around Edinburgh.
Low wines are the product of the wash still, usually +/- 20% ABV.
The Lowlands is a 'classic' whisky region with just a few distilleries.
Luxury bag makers merged with Mot Hennessy into conglomerate LVMH.
Oddly enoughh, LVMH stands for Mot Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE.
The lyne arm is the part of the pot still that runs from top to condenser.

A ‘Limited Edition’ can consist of tens of thousands of bottles.
The wash and spirit stills at Linkwood distillery are relatively small.
The name Linlithgow has been used as an alternative for St. Magdalene.
A litre is a basic volume unit in the metric system - 1000 cubic centimetres.
The Littlemill distillery was located between the Highlands and Lowlands.
The Littlemill Distillery Company Ltd. had little to do with the actual distillery.
Livet is an area within the Speyside whisky region - just south of the centre.


Ladybank dummies

The Ladybank Company of Distillers Club Ltd. was founded in 2002.
The man behind it was James Thompson, but it was presented as some
kind of early version of a ‘crowdsourced’ distillery. 

James Thompson received planning permission for Ladybank in 2003.
The idea was to start malt whisky distillation at Peterhead Farm in 2007,
and the project attracted around 400 ‘club members’. Each of them did
invest between +/- 2,000 and 3,000 GBP in exchange for the mirage
of free whisky about a decade down the line.

The (now defunct) website claimed: “The (Ladybank) Club intends, by
focusing on very small production quantities, to create one of the world's
greatest single malt whiskies. By reducing yields so that we can always
improve quality, and by distributing our whisky only to members and
special guests who visit the distillery, Ladybank will add a new
dimension to the world of Scotch Malt Whisky production.”

Some work seems to have been carried out at the site in 2006 - but progress stalled after that.
After the website went down and ‘club members’ and journalists were unable to contact James Thompson,
it would seem that Ladybank succeeded brilliantly in its goal of achieving a very small production quantity.
Meanwhile, the nearby Daftmill distillery has been quietly chugging along since 2005...

Lone Wolf

Lone Wolf prelaunch prototype

I hadn’t heard about the proposed Lone Wolf distillery
until the day I wrote this sentence, but a Facebook post made
me aware - and then I did some desk research.

In March 2017 the website of the owners Brewdog said:
“For some time the world of spirits has been split, twin forks
heading off along a road to nowhere. On one branch, the
unhurried world of whisky, playing off location and sentiment
to maintain the Status Quo. On the other, sleight of hand
rules the roost as the surge of gin and vodka is underpinned
by those who bulk-buy industrial alcohol and have the temerity
to add botanicals and label it ‘craft’. LoneWolf has been
stalking the high treeline for years, cold eyes fixed on them all.”

Proud words - albeit a little vague...
It would almost seem like those words would be uttered by
somebody with an independent spirit. And underdog that will
take on the big evil corporations through the power of love.
Well, as it turns out Lone Wolf is mostly a marketing balloon.

The pumped-up prose of Lone Wolf sounds not unlike the tall tales of the Ladybank ‘distillery’ - and we
all know how that went.  A quick internet searched that the trigger-happy lawyers of Brewdog / Lone Wolf
have already launched (at least) two lawsuits against two parties that they felt infringed on their rights.
One lawsuit has to do with the Lone Wolf pub in Birmingham that had the same name (but had it earlier)
as Lone Wolf vodka. And in January 2017 Brewdog presented the Aberdeenshire council with a claim
because Brewdog felt that they charged too much for a plot of land they wanted to purchase. They lost...
If the council would have lost, local taxpayers would indirectly be contributing to the profits of Brewdog.

With business acumen like that, co-founder James Watt could go far in the modern whisky industry...
They present themselves as ‘punk’ - but this creative capitalism reminds me more of Donald Trump.

Low Wines

The “Low Wines” are the product of the first distillation in the so-called wash still. The ABV (or proof) of
this liquid is around 20% alcohol by volume, so it’s stronger than most actual wines but not quite spirit yet.
Only after the second distillation in the spirit still does the spirit reach an ABV of 60-70%.

Long John

The “Long John” blended whisky is still available today - in the form of Long John Special Reserve.
The brand was named after ‘Long John’ Macdonald - the founder of the Ben Nevis distillery. Rumour
has it that the blend still contains some Ben Nevis malt whisky, but because the current owners of the brand
(Pernod Ricard) don’t own the Ben Nevis distillery the main malt whisky is Tormore these days.


The abbreviation “L” stands for ‘litre’ - one of the base units that make the metric system so sensible.
A litre can be divided in 100 centilitres (‘cent’ is Latin for 100) or 1000 mililitres (‘mille’ means 1000).

Lakes Distillery

The Lakes distillery in Cumbria is located outside the borders of Scotland and they are not members
of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). As such,I don’t think there are many guidelines they have to
follow for their  their novelty ‘whisky’.  (Their main product seems to be gin at the moment anyway.)

Last Drop, The

Unlike the name suggests, ‘The Last Drop Distillers Limited’ company doesn’t do any actual distilling.
Founded in 2008, their official slogan is “The World’s Most Exclusive Spirits Company” - but perhaps
“Their Loss Is Our Gain” would be more appropriate. They specialise in whiskies from closed distilleries.

Lauter mash tun

The grist that is produced by the malt mill contains mostly starch. Hot water is added to the grist in the
mash tun where the enzyme Amylase turns the starch in the grain into various sugars. Filling and emptying
the mash tun (not to mention the constant stirring) took a lot of time before the process was mechanised.
These days, most distilleries use a lauter mash tun with a false bottom. After the lumpy soup has cooled
down from +/- 75 degrees to +/- 60 degrees Celcius, the liquids can be drawn off quite effortlessly.

Littlemill Distillery Company Ltd.

The Littlemill Distillery Company Ltd. used to own and run the Littlemill distillery on the border between
the Lowlands and the Southern Highlands. The distillery itself (which used triple distillation until the 1930s)
was a contender for the title ‘Scotland’s oldest distillery’ - until it was demolished in 1996 and 1997.
Loch Lomond bought the old trade name in 2014 - but had very little to do with the actual distillery.

Loch Ewe

The Loch Ewe "distillery-hotel" of John Clotworthy has been producing tiny amounts of spirit since 2006.
However, by the year 2011 they had managed to collect no more than 3 casks of Loch Ewe malt whisky;
most of the freshly distilled spirit is sold and consumed very soon afterwards on the premises.

Loch Lomond

The Loch Lomond distillery is named after the ‘loch’ to the north. As long as Scotland doesn’t declare
itself independent, Loch Lomond has the largest surface area of any UK ‘inland’ water: 70 square km.


The brand name ‘Lochindaal’ has been used for several “bastard bottlings” from Islay - single malts with
undisclosed origins. Being named after the Loch Indaal bay on the south shore of the island, the name
only ‘suggests’ the source of the single malt whisky - which adds its own sense of excitement to buying
a bottle. Likely sources are Bowmore and Bruichladdich (both located at the bay), but you never know...

Lomond Still

A so-called ‘Lomond Still’ combines elements of a pot still and a column still (or continuous still).
The bottom half looks pretty much like a regular pot still, but the neck contains three perforated plates
which can be turned and cooled individually, controlling the reflux of the spirit. The Lomond Still was
invented by Alistair Cunningham of the now defunct Hiram Walker company. Loch Lomond and a few
other distilleries experimented with it for a while, but they were virtually extinct by the year 2000.


A bag like many others

The abbreviation LVMH is short for Mot Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE - the French
company that was born out of the merger between conglomerate Mot Hennessy
(itself the result of a merger between champagne producer Mot & Chandon and
cognac house Hennessy) and luxury bag producer Louis Vuitton.

To most untrained (male) eyes, all Luis Vuitton bags look eerily similar.
However, many females seem to be able to identify all of the different models
and know the hefty price tags that are attached to them by heart. 

The fact that the Louis Vuitton corporation felt that it would be a good idea
to invest heavily in the Scotch whisky industry is all the proof we need that malt
whisky is evolving from a (relatively) authentic product in the 20th century into
a luxury product in the 21st century. Unfortunately, luxury and value don’t mix.

Lyne Arm

Most pot stills have a lyne arm at their top; a declining tube that runs from the very top of the still to the
condenser where the vapours turn back into a liquid. The ABV of the liquid that is produced by a wash still
is around 25% and at this point it’s not quite potable yet. By the time this liquid has also passed through
the spirit still, it has turned into so-called ‘new make spirit’ with a proof of somewhere between 65 and 75%.
Once this spirit has been matured for a few years in an oak cask it has turned into whisky.

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