Loch Lomond’s focus on quality is unwavering. The distillery owns its own cooperage, ensuring that barrel repairs and charring are carried out to an exacting standard so every cask is perfect for maturing our Loch Lomond spirit.
Loch Lomond is one of only 4 distilleries in Scotland that has their cooperage on site.
EVERY YEAR, AROUND 10,000 BARRELS HAVE THE METAL HOOPS REPLACED TO TIGHTEN THEM SO THE ANGEL’S SHARE DOESN’T BECOME ANY LARGER!
The Loch Lomond Cooperage was opened in 1994. The senior cooper was Tommy Wallace, who subsequently progressed on to become the President of the National Cooperage Federation between 2006-2008. Loch Lomond employs 7 full time experienced coopers with many years experience working for the company. Loch Lomond is one of only four distilleries in Scotland that has their cooperage on site.
During the downturn in Scotch Whisky sales around the millennium, the number of fully skilled coopers in Scotland fell to around 250. Since this time, the industry has been actively training new apprentices and there are now over 300 skilled coopers in the country. Learning the craft is a long apprenticeship.
Each new cooper spends 4 years learning the craft before becoming a fully-fledged cooper. The apprentices at Loch Lomond are trained on site in the art of coopering the barrels using hand tools.
Loch Lomond endeavours to maintain these skills to ensure their craft and knowledge are passed down to the next generation.
In a typical year around 10,000 barrels require major repairs to replace some wooden staves and barrel ends. And around 10,000 need to be re-charred in order to bring back the character to the wood before refilling with new fill whisky. Innovation has always been at the heart of the Loch Lomond Distillery and we were one of the first distilleries to introduce a re-char machine.