Hillside Highland Whisky Distillery
Formerly Highland Esk, North Esk, North Esk maltings, Montrose, and Glenesk, Hillside was founded by Septimus Parsonage (wine merchant) in 1897 just outside Montrose in the eastern highlands of Scotland. This was an existing flax mill which was converted and sold 2 years later to J E Caille Heddle before falling silent and taken over by the British Army during World War 1. No whisky was produced again until 1938 when syndicate owners of Bruichladdich, Glenkinchie and Glenbury Royal led by Joseph Hobbs took over.
Now known as North Esk maltings they re-named it as Montrose turned it into a working grain distillery just in time for World War 2 when again the British Army again requisitioned the whisky distillery. Distillers Company Ltd (DCL) got it moving again in 1954 but it remained silent until 1964 when Scottish Malt Distillers refurbished and eventually Hillside was born. Hillside like its predecessors didn’t last and the name was changed again to Glenesk in 1980 but due to the slump in the market it was shut down never to re-open and was demolished in 1996.
Some rare malts were released by Diageo in the nineties but Hillside remains exclusive as much produced there went into VAT 69 blended whisky. Hillside single malt whisky will not be around forever so what are you waiting for?
Taste: This whisky is rare but apparently the 25 year old is unimpressive on the nose but at 62% alcohol it is light to taste with a hint of pinenuts and resin.