The Glenochil Distillery grew out of the Dolls Distillery, and later the West Dolls Distillery at Menstrie.

The original distillery was set up in 1746 by John Philp, but following bankruptcies it was finally bought by distiller Alexander McNab and his brother William, a farmer, exactly 100 years after it had been established. They renamed it the Glenochil Distillery. They replaced the old pot stills, used in the production of malt whisky, for Coffey stills to produce grain whisky instead.

In the 1861-1862 valuation rolls, the distillery was described as ‘very extensive,’ with an excellent export trade. Within the grounds of the compound was a ‘commodious’ two storey dwelling house with a large garden, as well as several offices, then the property of Archibald McNab.

By the 1890s the site had expended and was producing approximately a million gallons of whisky a year, and to facilitate this, its short railway siding was built.

The tall chimney stacks could be seen for miles around, and it had three large barley stores. It also had three malting floors, one barley floor, three kilns, and 11 grain stores which fronted on the railway siding. This was for ease of access of delivering grain directly into a hopper. Coal too was delivered in this way. When the grain had been dried in the large hot air kiln, and after it had been milled, it was fed into a large mash tun with its wort emptied into a second mash tun. A charger fed the two large Coffey stills, working almost 24 hours a day, with the cooled spirit being fed into two 5000 gallon vats.

Also at the site were seven, then later eight, bonded warehouses covering three acres. It also had five steam engines, six boilers and seven mill stones. Among the many employees were engineers, carpenters, and coopers, all working in their respective workshops. A small number of excise officers also worked there so no untaxed whisky left the distillery.

Glenochil was one of the founding members of DCL, Distillers Company Limited. This was made up of Cambus, Cameronbridge, Carsebridge, Kirkliston and Port Dundas. It later built a research centre, employing the later famous Dr Magnus Pyke at one stage, and Dr Robert Duncan.

Production of whisky at the site gave way to another product, that of yeast which was a by-product in the process, and in the later 1880s this became a major part of business.

In around 1920 the steam engines were replaced. Whisky production ceased at the site in 1929.