Visit to the Devil’s Porridge Museum and Annandale Distillery

May 21st, 2015Comments Off on Visit to the Devil’s Porridge Museum and Annandale Distillery

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The new Devil’s Porridge Museum is a far cry from the disused garage that it used to occupy. The past few years of fundraising and hard work have certainly paid benefits and we were fortunate to see it in the same week that it is die to be officially opened by Princess Anne.

The high-tech exhibits with plenty of touch screens and audio-presentations tell the story of HM Gretna, one of the biggest munitions factories in the world. It was set up in 1915 when it was clear that Britain would lose the war for lack of munitions. In record time Irish Navvies build not only the factory but a complete infrastructure including models housing, schools and shops. All that remains of this now are the villages of Gretna, Eastriggs and Dornock. The museum also tells the story of the Quintillshill trains crash, which happened on 22nd May 1915, exactly 100 years ago and is still the biggest loss of life in a train crash ever.

If you haven’t been it is a delightful museum with excellent refreshments and a friendly and well informed staff of volunteers.

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A complete contracts was the visit in the afternoon to the newly re-opened Annandale Distillery. This originally opened in 1830 and was producing single malt whisky until it shut by Johnnie Walker in 1918. Professor David Thomson (incidentally Founder and CEO of the MMR Group) is a whisky enthusiast who saw the opportunity to convert it back from farm buildings to a distillery. The Visitor Centre is lovely, having been lovingly re-furbished by Kirkcudbright’s Ian Cameron-Smith and serves excellent refreshments, as we can attest. The tour shows how traditional materials have been used to produce the whisky (or spirit as it is currently). The copper stills were incredibly tactile and beautifully polished. Production started in 2014 with the first whisky being available in 2017/8, 100 years after the original closure.

We all had the opportunity to taste the spirit that they have for sale called Rascally Liquor, a white spirit at high proof which will eventually be put into the American Bourbon casks and become the peaty Man o’ Sword or the smooth Man o’ Words, references to the two local heroes Robert the Bruce, Earl of Annandale and Robert Burns, Bard of these parts.

Devils Trip to Porridge and Annan Distillery

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