New Scotch Distilleries to Watch – Part 2!

It seems that every other week a new distillery is planned, granted permission or has been built up and down Scotland. In fact, from 2010 to 2015 the HMRC granted over 150 distilling licenses! Admittedly most of these licenses have been granted to companies planning to produce vodka and gin, however, there at least 40 of these distilleries that plan to produce our beloved single malt scotch. How can you keep with all these developments, how can you keep up to date with the all this new whisky? Fortunately, we are doing that for you – and in alphabetical order! 

Ardnamurchan Distillery

Ardnamurchan Distillery

Ardnamurchan is your favourite independent bottler Adelphi’s move into distillation! Adelphi can trace their whisky background to the construction of the Loch Katrine Adelphi in 1826. Unfortunately, 106 years of whisky production ended in 1932. The distillery was finally demolished in 1971. It was in 1993 that Jamie Walker resurrected the Adelphi name as an independent bottler and 194 years , it was the distillery itself that was resurrected, with planning being granted in 2012 and the distillery opening in July 2014. 

Ardnamurchan will be producing both a peated and an unpeated whisky, and the fermentation will be carried out in four oak washbacks that previously held cognac! Ardnamurchan’s warehouse is filled with both American and European oak, as well as ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks! Ardnamurchan has a 450,000 litre capacity. Unfortunately, we could be waiting another eight years before we see anything bottled. But we’re sure it is worth the wait – though the Princess Royal drew the distilleries very first bottle of spirit in 2014. In the mean time, you should definitely give them a visit up in Glenbeg, in the Highlands on the west coast of Scotland. It promises glorious views of the coast of Loch Sunart and the the Small Isles. Or if you can afford it, get involved in Ardnamurchan’s cask scheme – with prices starting from £2,000!

Interestingly, Ardnamurchan claim to be the greenest distillery in Scotland – and they might well be. The distillery is entirely run on local renewable power and heat. They make us of a hydroelectricity generator in the same river that they use for cooling water as well as a biomass boiler fuelled by wood chips from local forest. Alongside this, whisky making byproducts are recycled: draff (what is left in the mash tun) is used to feed livestock on the peninsula, and the pot-ale (what is left in the stills) is used as fertiliser.

Ballindalloch Distillery

Located in the Spey valley, Ballindalloch Castle has been the home of the Macpherson-Grant family since 1546. Guy Macpherson-Grant is the 23rd generation of his family to live at the Castle! Distilling on the Ballindalloch estate can be traced back to the 1820s with the construction of a distillery at Delnashaugh. Under the stewardship of Sir George Macpherson-Grant, the 3rd Baronet of Ballindalloch, the distillery has links to Cragganmore, as Sir George was co-founder, Glenfarclas on the North side of the Estate, as well as the Speyside Distillery in Kingussie in 1896.

It was in 2011 that estate owners Clare and Oliver Russell decided to recreate their ancestor’s success and begin their own distillery. Over the next two years work was carried out to renovate the old farm – a building dating back to the 1820s – into a fully functioning distillery. In 2014, Ballindalloch Distillery was treated to a royal opening, with the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay unveiling the plaque! The family is committed to a traditional and hands on approach. The Single Estate nature of the distillery allows the family the control of every aspect of whisky making. The family grow their own barley and feed the draff to their cattle! From seed to bottle, the family is involved every step of the way.

Barra Distillery 

The only distillery on the Isle of Barra. The distillery was founded in 2008 by Peter Brown and still ongoing construction began in Autumn of 2009. Brown plans for his distillery to make use of renewable energy and the wind turbines were built in 2012. The estimated cost for the distillery is around £1 million but whilst construction is yet to be finished Mr Brown has already received orders for 1,000 casks (each costing £1,000) all over the world. The distillery will be producing over 22,000 litres once construction is finished and once the first spirit has aged 3 years 1 day, it shall be available to purchase – if there’s any left! 

To the advantage of the distillery, Barra is the island famous for the sinking of S.S. Politician in 1941 and the loss of 28,000 cases – roughly, 264,000 bottles – of whisky. The Barra islanders took it upon themselves to salvage an estimated 24,000 bottles, and returned none of it! The infamous incident was captured in Compton MacKenzie’s Whisky Galore! (1947) and the 1949 film based on the book, Whisky Galore! (or Tight Light Islanders as it was titled in America).

Cabrach Distillery

Artist Impression of Cabrach Distillery

Admittedly, the planning application for this distillery has not even been submitted yet… However! The application is due to be submitted at the end of 2016 and if permission is granted the distillery is predicted to be operational by 2020.  The planning and, hopefully, construction of this distillery is headed by the Cabrach Trust which was founded to help rural regeneration in/around the Cabrach region. Interestingly, once completed the Cabrach distillery will be using methods of whisky production from the 19th century – producing a single malt as it would have been produced in 1820! 

The site in question is the Inverharroch Farm,in the southern edge of the Moray region! Cabrach aim is to turn the site not just into a distillery but into a visitor attraction that highlights the region’s history of illegal whisky distillation and its constant use as a smuggling route. The region is said to be one of the birthplaces of Scotch whisky! Currently, Cabrach distillery is seeking £5.3m investment from a ‘major’ grant application to the Heritage Lottery Fund on top of the funding it has already received from foundations and private individuals. 

Clydeside Distillery (Formerly Glasgow Distillery and Visitor Centre)

Artist Impression of Clydeside Distillery

Glasgow’s new distillery and another step towards the revival of the cities whisky producing status. The £10.5 million project aims to convert the iconic Pump House – on the River Clyde – into a whisky distillery. It is owned by Tim Morrison (owner of AD Rattray and formerly of Morrison Bowmore Distillers), whose great grandfather built the pump house in 1877. Planning permission was granted by the council in 2014 and construction began in Summer of this year! Morrison Glasgow Distillers aims to have the distillery up and running by Autumn 2017. It is hoped that the site will attract 65,000 visitors per year.

< Part 1                                                                                                                                         Part 3 >

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s