Let me start with the one closest to where I live …
Eden Mill, who are producing already near St Andrews, revealed plans for a carbon neutral single malt whisky distillery. The £10 million plan will bring visitors to their home in Guardbridge, St. Andrews in 2022. Their land is within the University of St. Andrews’ Eden Campus, hang on folks; the power and heat for the stills will be supplied by a local energy network generated by biomass plant and field electricity and solar panels installed by the university on the roof of the distillery and nearby buildings. At the time of writing, I am unsure what part has been played by the uni, it’s their land and they have had a huge input I’m told, the Green Party will love it, tree huggers will love it, let’s just hope we all love the whisky at the end of the day.
Midhope Castle Distillery – Outlander Castle distillery! Jamie Fraser’s home of Lallybroch (otherwise known as Midhope Castle on the Hopetoun Estate) will soon have a whisky distillery – more to follow on thisl
Meanwhile, up north on Speyside, things are moving … Bimber Dunphail Distillery confirmed plans to open a new Scottish whisky distillery in Dunphail, south of Forres, location of the Benromach Distillery. The proposal, being reviewed by Moray Council, will see a farm steading converted into a small (200,000 LA capacity), Scotch whisky distillery. Dunphail will feature floor malting and a traditional kiln designed to process 100 per cent of the distillery’s locally sourced barley and a visitor centre, blending rooms and dunnage warehousing, distillation is hoped to start in 2022. The distillery aims to produce a full-bodied, fruit-forward spirit in both unpeated and peated styles.
Another farm, another place … The 222-acre (that is big) Lochlea Farm near Tarbolton in Ayrshire has been transformed into a brand new whisky distillery, visitor centre and cask warehousing. This distillery adds to Ayrshire’s already rich distilling landscape with William Grant & Son’s Girvan and Ailsa Bay distilleries operating in nearby Girvan. The Farm site already has strong links to Robert Burns, Scotland’s national bard and will help to boost tourism in the area. Keep your eyes peeled.
A bonny, bonny distillery – Glen Luss to be built in maybe one of Scotland’s picturesque loch side towns is set to get its’ own distillery and brewery as planning permission was granted for Glen Luss in March. The first of its’ kind to hit the shores of Loch Lomond, Glen Luss is an experimental craft brewery and distillery set to be erected in Luss. Plans include Discovery and Learning Centres, as well as the brewing and distilling process at the site in addition to the Craft Brewery and Distillery itself, and a Making & Tasting Experience Centre and Cask Experience Centre. Look out for a local clan chief involved here.
Not that far away Rosebank reawakens. Rosebank Distillery is due to reopen summer 2021 after its’ redevelopment under new owners, Ian Macleod Distillers. Set on the banks of the Forth and Clyde canal between Edinburgh and Glasgow, the famous distillery had been dormant for 25 years, after it was mothballed in 1993 by former owner Diageo and its’ maltings were converted into a restaurant. Ian Macleod Distillers acquired the Rosebank brand and last remaining stocks in October 2017. In January 2019 they were given the ok to revive the distillery and have been putting plans in place.
Brora Triptych – a ghost distillery is set to reopen sometime 2021, after it closed it’ doors in 1983. Originally known as Clynelish (it is next door on the same site), production began in this north east coast location in 1819 with the backing of the Marquess of Stafford. In the late 1960’s it was decided to expand production by building a new distillery, with the old distillery eventually being used to supply a need for heavily peated whisky for blending. 1975 saw the distillery renamed Brora. Whisky was only produced until 1983, when the distillery was closed. Highland Council approved a comeback in October 2018, work started to dismantle the distillery’s historic still house, which dates back almost two centuries to 1819, before it will be rebuilt stone by stone so that it retains its’ original character but is structurally sound.
Over to the west coast and the isles … Isle of Barra Distillery. In April 2021 the team behind the Isle of Barra Distillers gave us plans to build a new whisky and gin distillery, with a visitor centre, cafe and bar, on the Isle of Barra, surprisingly. A new 300 litre gin still Ada, as well as a one-tonne single malt installation. Managing director Michael Morrison said: “For as long as we can remember and certainly since we launched Isle of Barra Distillers, we’ve consistently been asked if we produce whisky because of the name ‘Barra’ and the instant connection people make with Whisky Galore. The novel written by Compton Mackenzie while staying on the Isle of Barra, and the film that followed”.
Meantime, another blog tells of Innis & Gunn launching Islay whisky cask beer in collaboration with Laphroaig Distillery.
Port Ellen – back in 2019, Diageo submitted plans that would see the Islay distillery reopen more than 35 years after it was closed. The distillery’s buildings, are located on the south coast of the island, have gone through many changes since it first opened in 1824, with the distillery closing and largely being demolished in the 1930s, before being rebuilt in the 1960s. Following its’ most recent closure in 1983, very few of the original buildings remain. Do you have an old bottle of theirs?
Elixir Distillers, Islay is due to get yet another distillery, as planning permission was granted to Elixir Distillers, in February 2021. Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh plan to combine tradition for their new distillery. Inside there will be floor maltings and a visitor’s centre and a multi purpose educational facility. Possibly accommodation is whispered.
Back on the mainland; 8 Doors Distillery is a new Scotch whisky micro distillery and visitor centre due to open in John O’Groats in 2021. This £1 million project will be the first whisky producer in the Caithness village since 1837. It is a dream come true for its’ founders, local husband and wife team Kerry and Derek Campbell, the Highland Single Malt Whisky will be produced using John O’Groats’ water extracted from a borehole on the distillery site.
Down by the capital Port of Leith Distillery. The building is a very different vertical building which will grow to 40 metres above the quay, a sneeze from the Royal Yacht Britannia – due to open in 2022 – it will feature a double height whisky bar, with views of Edinburgh Castle, two copper stills and the capacity to produce up to million bottles of single malt a year.
Ardgowan Coppersmith whisky. The distillery was given the go ahead back in 2017 by Inverclyde Council. The new £12 million whisky production facility and visitor centre is located in a lowland estate which has links to Bannockburn, King Robert the Bruce and descendants of Pocahontas! OK, the team have released two limited editions as part of the Clyde built series. But not their own liquid which I was narked about, och well.