Glenesk/Hillside Highland Whisky Distillery
This distillery had a varied and confusing career. Established in 1897 in an old flax spinning mill on Hillside Road, Montrose, Angus “Highland Esk Distillery” as it was known then was founded by an aptly named Septimus Parsonage. Two years later in 1899 J.E. Caille Heddle took over the site now renamed “North Esk” but soon there after it fell silent until after the Great War when it re-emerged as “North Esk Maltings” but it would appear that no whisky was actually produced until 1938. In that year the distillery again changed hands falling to the ownership of Joseph W. Hobbs who opened it as a Grain Distillery and re-named it “Montrose”. Again a World War intervened and again the site was requisitioned by the forces.
It was not until 1954 that the distillery was taken over by D.C.L. who in 1959 re-opened it again as a Malt Distillery In 1964 the name was changed yet again to “Hillside Malt Distillery”. Under this name the distillery actually produced Malt Whisky until 1980 when yet another name change took place. This final time it was named “Glenesk” but it only survived until 1985 when it was finally closed. The buildings were removed in 1996.
During its short producing lifetime nearly all the output from this distillery was used for blending the majority going into a fine grain whisky called VAT69. Under their Rare Malts, Diageo did release Glenesk and Hillside bottlings in the 70’s and 80’s and this has been followed by releases from Gordon & Macphail. As they say there is no such thing as a bad whisky only better ones.
Taste: A Solid Malt, Sweet and Light with a touch of Smoke