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2 New Buys

Posted by Ashley Penney on December 13, 2012 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

On taking a walk to my local Tesco's i saw two bottles catch my eye as i wandered the isle of whisky and ales

Jameson Special Reserve Small Batch €35.00

Teachers Origin €22.00

I said to myself "interesting I'll get those for another day.

Anyone know anything about them?

Silver Lining For Speyburn As New 25 Year Old Unveiled

Posted by Ashley Penney on November 9, 2012 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Speyburn Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky has today (24th October) unveiled a luxurious new version of its 25 year old expression, featuring a premium silver design and a personal signature from the distillery manager to reflect the quality of this exceptional award-winning scotch.

Every aspect of the packaging has been redeveloped. The elongated proprietary bottle features an etched version of the Speyburn logo – a leaping Salmon, symbolic of the water at the heart of the whisky which is drawn from the Granty Burn, a tributary of the River Spey, famous for its purity and world-class salmon fishing.

A new metallic silver label gives enhances premium cues and shelf presence, with each bottle presented in a striking silver-toned wooden box – complete with two engraved tasting cups and the boxes are hand-signed by Distillery Manager Bobby Anderson.

The whisky is matured for a quarter of a century in American white oak Fino sherry and bourbon casks and the end result is a malt of rare depth, complexity and balance.

Light Sauternes in colour, Speyburn 25 Year Old delivers a vibrant aroma that is rich with lime honey and lemon peel notes, accentuated by fragrant tropical fruit. The taste is rounded and smooth, sweet to begin with then opening up with toffee, creamy vanilla and pink grapefruit flavours that drift gently towards a long and warming finish. It is un-chill filtered and bottled at natural colour at 46% ABV.

Pamela Stewart, Brand Manager for Speyburn is delighted to be revealing the new 25 Year Old to the market after many months of development. She commented: ‘We have always known that our 25 Year Old whisky was very special and that it needed an equally special presentation to reflect that quality and distinctive character. I am extremely pleased with the finished result of our redesign which uses our classic Speyburn motifs but in a fresh, modern and luxurious way. This will be a whisky that catches the eye as well as the taste buds of those who love fine whisky all over the world.’

Founded in 1897 and often described as the most photographed distillery in Scotland, Speyburn sits nestled in a glen on the northern edge of the town of Rothes. It remains much the same as it was 100 years ago with many of its original features still used in the whisky making process today.

The new Speyburn 25 Year Old joins the 10 Year Old and Bradan Orach expressions in the Speyburn portfolio. It will be available from November 2012, RRP £195.00

Article Courtesy of the Press Release


Biggest whisky bottle on display

Posted by Ashley Penney on November 9, 2012 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

The world's largest bottle of single malt Scotch whisky is going on display in the capital.

Standing at 4ft 9ins, the giant bottle of Tomintoul 14-year-old single malt contains 105.3 litres and would serve up 5,250 drams.

The record-breaking tipple is going on view to visitors at the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh until April next year.

The specially-commissioned glass bottle holds 150 bottles of the drink and is worth about £5,000.

It has a gigantic cork and oversized label, and required a team of 14 people to fill and close it.

The bottle left its birthplace in the Highland village of Tomintoul for the first time since it was created in 2009.

Susan Morrison, director of the Scotch Whisky Experience, said: "We are already home to the world's largest collection of Scotch whisky, so it seemed perfectly fitting that we host this record-breaking bottle for its first appearance in the capital.

"It makes an ideal addition to the existing elements of the attraction and we expect that it will be a very popular photo opportunity with visitors."

Article Courtesy of Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser


Airdrie & Coatbridge


Bunnahabhain Discovers Rare 40 YO Islay

Posted by Ashley Penney on November 9, 2012 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Bunnahabhain has announced that it will release a one-off rare single malt that has lain undiscovered for four decades at the Islay distillery.

Bunnahabhain distillery, which is located on the north-east of the isle, will release only 750 bottles, which will be individually numbered and hand signed.

Hidden for 40 years, the whisky quietly matured until Master Distiller, Ian MacMillan, discovered the casks listed in the distillery ledgers: “It was an exhilarating moment to stumble on such a special find,” he said. “There are very few 40 year old Islays and unlike any other, Bunnahabhain’s taste is considered unique because the distillery does not heavily peat the fine malted barley.”

The Master Distiller recognised the significance of the discovery after finding the ‘Turney’ casks, which were filled with the precious Bunnahabhain malt over 40 years ago by eminent Glasgow wine merchants, J G Turney, and renowned for being the highest standard of quality.

Michelle Lansdowne, Senior Brand Manager at Burn Stewart, added: “ We are expecting a good deal of market interest in the 40 YO and with such limited availability of this one-off prestige bottling, it is sure to appeal to international collectors of rare malts.”

To capture the extraordinary journey, Bunnahabhain commissioned renowned illustrator, Iain McIntosh, to retrace the voyage through the specially designed labels. Each bottle is presented in a bespoke oak gift box containing a secret compartment that reveals hidden designs replicating the ‘Journey of Discovery.’

The multi-award winning Bunnahabhain is the flagship malt whisky from Burn Stewart Distillers and is exported to over 30 countries globally. Unlike its neighbouring distilleries on the Island, Bunnahabhain embodies “the gentle taste of Islay”, as it is the only non-peated Islay malt.

Article Courtesy of the Press Release


Laphroaig whisky to launch special Diamond Jubilee edition

Posted by Ashley Penney on June 2, 2012 at 1:25 AM Comments comments (0)

To celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year on the throne, Islay single malt whisky Laphroaig, distributed by Maxxium UK, is launching a special Diamond Jubilee commemorative edition.

Bearing Prince Charles’ Royal Warrant, the 3,000 Jubilee cartons and bottles are set to become collector’s items. Laphroaig has also pledged to make a donation of £3000 to The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST).

Each limited edition carton will display that it is only one of three thousand in existence and will contain the Double Gold Medal winning Laphroaig 18 Year Old single malt (48% abv). Bright gold in colour, the Laphroaig 18 Year Old offers a toffee sweet flavour, accompanied by its trademark peat smoke taste.

Laphroaig’s Diamond Jubilee bottling is especially fitting given their Royal Warrant, appointed personally by HRH Prince Charles when he visited the distillery in 1994. He also returned again in 2008 as part of his own 60th birthday celebrations.

Reinforcing its special royal connections, Laphroaig is donating £3,000 to QEST. The charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, the funds will go towards awarding craftsmen throughout Britain to help them further their careers, celebrating the excellence of British Craftsmanship as symbolised by the Royal Warrant of Appointment.

The 3,000 bottles are available to buy in the UK only from June in selected whisky specialists and retailers (RRP £77).



Whisky Live Dublin 2012 Review

Posted by Ashley Penney on June 2, 2012 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Whiskey & whisky lovers from Ireland, the UK, Europe and America gathered in the Round Room at the Mansion House in Dublin’s city centre to experience the best of Irish whiskey, Scotch and other whiskies from around the globe.

Organisers, Whisky Magazine, recorded an attendance uplift of approximately 300% in the second year the show has been to Dublin, with Ireland’s biggest whiskey producers showcasing over a hundred different whiskies and cocktails.

Masterclasses from Jameson, Cooley Distillery, Tullamore Dew & Green Spot were available for the true enthusiasts and those looking to learn more about the golden spirit; a highlight for many came from Beam Global in the form of Scotch Master Ambassador; Simon Brooking, Fred Brooker Noe, Jim Beam Small Batch Bourbon Distiller & John Cashman, Global Ambassador for Irish whiskey in the same room, each giving a deep insight into their specific brands.

Crowds gathered for whiskey cocktails and ‘whiskuits’ (whiskey biscuits) from Four Season’s Hotel, a taste of the new Yellow Spot whiskey from Irish Distillers Ltd & in particular a sealed malaga butt that had been full until it was emptied for Yellow Spot just two weeks ago, which was opened on the exhibition floor for all to inspect and drink in the aroma!

Dawson Street’s Celtic Whiskey Shop displayed a huge range of Irish, Scotch & New World whiskies including Bowmore, Auchentoshan, Glen Garioch, Suntory, BenRiach, GlenDronach, Isle of Arran, Springbank, Knappogue Castle, Jeffersons Bourbon, Inish Turk Beg, as well as some Celtic Whiskey Shop Exclusives.

VIPs experienced Masterclasses from Whisky Magazine’s editor, Rob Allanson, who took them on a journey to discover the newest and most exciting whiskies around the globe, and gave a detailed food and whisky pairing Masterclass using locally sourced produce. Michael Foggarty, from Dublin’s hotspots L Mulligan Grocer & W J Kavanagh’s delighted VIPs with a miniature still, from which they could experience the distillation process first-hand.

Hosted in 17 countries around the world, Whisky Live is the international celebration of whisky bringing all the whiskies of the world under one roof. Offering the unique opportunity to sample the greatest whiskies in the world, Whisky Live has something for everyone from the uninitiated newcomer to the whisky enthusiast.

This was my second anual visit to Whisky live Dublin and very much looking forward to 2013 event.

My thanks to Michael who looked after us throughout the evening, a true gent in the world of whisky. Its due to guy's like Michael that i continue to love this beloved spirit. Will be posting some pics from the event soon


Non Chill Filtered-What Does That Mean

Posted by Ashley Penney on April 29, 2012 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

The question: I just bought a bottle of whisky and the label says “non-chill filtered.” What does that mean?

The answer: Most conspicuously, it means your whisky may turn hazy if served on 'the' rocks. But that’s not a bad thing. Chill filtering is a step most distillers take to remove chemical compounds such as esters, proteins and acids produced during fermentation and maturation. The spirit is cooled to roughly 0 C, which causes the compounds to precipitate out of the solution. This makes it possible to trap them in a fine filter. Mainly, it’s a cosmetic procedure. Whisky bottled at a typical alcohol content of less than 46 per cent will become cloudy if subsequently chilled, either during transport or in the presence of ice.

Technically, the unfiltered compounds might be viewed as impurities, but many people believe, as do I, that they convey extra flavour and texture. The telltale sign is a richer oiliness, which can give the whisky a longer, lip-smacking finish. It’s a subtle phenomenon, to be sure, but more and more distilleries are seeing the benefit of skipping the chill-filtering step, especially for higher-end offerings, courting savvy consumers who prefer their spirits au naturel, as it were.

And because most superpremium whiskies, such as pricey Scottish single malts, tend to be served neat rather than on the rocks, cloudiness is not an issue. Besides, if you happen to prefer your full-flavoured Scotch over ice, what’s the harm in a bit of fog? It may even remind you of a Scottish mist


Posted by Ashley Penney on April 12, 2012 at 12:20 PM Comments comments (1)

INTRIGUINGLY, BenRiach's revamped range of peated single malts shows the award-winning Speyside distillery going back to its nineteenth-century roots to give its twenty-first century customers a truly unique and authentic taste experience.

Back in the 1800s, the majority of Speyside distilleries were producing pungent, peated whiskies, but this trend changed in the 1960s when the US market emerged and a softer, easier-drinking style of whisky was preferred.

BenRiach was one of the first Speyside distilleries of the modern era to release a peated expression, with the 10 year-old Curiositas in 2004. The majority of the distillery's output is the more traditional, non-peated style that most people associate with Speyside, but the peated range certainly represents a unique selling point.

Over the last few months, the distillery has been working to come up with a revamped, definitive range of four peated expressions that will be available on an ongoing basis. The final line-up can now be confirmed as Birnie Moss, Curiositas aged 10 years old, Septendecim aged 17 years old and Authenticus aged 25 years old.

From subtly-peated malts to peat so thick you could dance on it, the four are sure to become firm favourites!

Birnie Moss is an area of windswept moorland close to the BenRiach Distillery and it's this wild place that gives our single malt its name. This is a younger expression of peated BenRiach, capturing the peaty, phenolic characteristics at their most pronounced. It's also something of a "first" under the new owners, as it's the first core expression that uses whisky distilled under the new stewardship of BenRiach. Initially launched around three years ago, Birnie Moss has recently been re-packaged to synchronise it with the rest of the BenRiach range.

Curiositas, the 10 year-old, is BenRiach's core peated expression and has been available since the company formed in 2004. Traditionalists believe that peated malts achieve optimum balance of peat-bittersweet and oak infusion after ten years' maturation, and Curiositas proves that point superbly.

Septendecim, the 17 year-old, was only launched in January and already has acquired a reputation for being a magnificent, moody, multi-layered malt with fantastic length. On the palate, it gives sweet, concentrated peat flavours which dominate from the start. Bold and intense, the peaty heart is united with honey-infused raisins, roasted nuts and a luxurious leather impression. Overall, it's a real robust heavyweight, full-bodied and beautifully balanced with enormous impact. Septendecim is non chill-filtered and bottled at natural colour, with a strength of 46% vol.

And completing the impressive quartet is the full-bodied and audacious Authenticus, formerly available as a 21 year-old and now available and re-packaged as a 25 year-old peated single malt. At 46%, it's bright, warm and amber gold in colour. On the nose, it offers elegant aromas of ripe pineapple, fresh mountain herbs and a profusion of sweet peat. On the palate, it's a fantastic fusion of rich peat and smouldering embers bound together by fresh herbs - oregano, aniseed and chicory in particular. Overall, it carries terrific weight and development which leaves a powerful lasting impression long after the glass has been drained.

Sales Director Alistair Walker said: "Peated malt whisky production only represents approximately six weeks' worth of the annual production at BenRiach, but the peated whiskies have become an important part of the distillery's portfolio as they offer something new and unexpected from the Speyside region.

"We wanted to offer our consumers a range of peated BenRiachs that would span the age range - one that would both allow the development of the malt to be charted and also be available on a regular basis. Hopefully, with these four expressions, we will achieve that."


Posted by Ashley Penney on April 12, 2012 at 12:15 PM Comments comments (0)

In a story that would have made a pleasing April fool's day prank, Ardbeg has announced its plan to age Scotch in space.

Dr Bill Lumsden, head of distilling at Ardbeg

The experiment will test the maturation of "Ardbeg-crafted molecules" with charred oak in a near zero-gravity environment and the results will be compared to an identical sample aged on earth.

Although the Scotch was sent into the International Space Station in an unmanned rocket last autumn, news of the experiment was announced today at Edinburgh's International Science Festival.

The trial, which is being done in partnership with space research company NanoRacks LLC, is designed to test the interaction of terpenes and oak in space and on earth over two years.

This, say Ardbeg, is believed to be the first time anyone has ever studied terpenes and other molecules in near zero gravity.

As part of the test, the US team will monitor the maturation of the unmatured malt against control samples on earth in Houston, Texas at the NanoRacks' facility, and also in Warehouse 3 at Ardbeg Distillery on Islay.

Michael Johnson, chief technical officer of NanoRacks LLC, said: "By doing this microgravity experiment on the interaction of terpenes and other molecules with the wood samples provided by Ardbeg we will learn much about flavours, even extending to applications like food and perfume.

"At the same time it should help Ardbeg find new chemical building blocks in their own flavour spectrum," he added.

Dr Bill Lumsden, head of distilling at Ardbeg is unveiling the initiative today at the Edinburgh International Science Festival in a talk entitled "Whisky Wisdom – Scotch Whisky; Science, Art or Myth?"

He explained: "This experiment will throw new light on the effect of gravity on the maturation process. We are all tremendously excited by this experiment: who knows where it will lead?"

Ash hits the 300 mark

Posted by Ashley Penney on April 12, 2012 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

I have just returned from my recent trip to edinburgh and during this time i hit the offical 300 whisky i have tasted.

For this i chose the Caol Illa Moch, very nice indeed no age statement but reminded me of the unpeated 8y old version,a nice dram to highlight this milestone


During this trip i brought home a further four bottles

Loch Lommond Single Malt

Balvenie 14 year old Caribean Rum Cask

Ledaig 1990 Conn Choice

Dewrs 12y Blend after visiting the distillery

Whisky brand Smokehead releases new limited Rock Edition

Posted by Ashley Penney on March 5, 2012 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Smokehead, the rich and powerful Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky from Ian Macleod Distillers, has released a new limited Rock Edition to celebrate its credentials as the rock n’ roll spirit of choice for 2012.

The limited edition evolves from the design of Smokehead’s existing tactile metal presentation tin, demanding attention with the introduction of a smoking skull, the time-honoured symbol of rock. Cocooned within the skull are the many adjectives that capture the Single Malt’s boisterous, outrageous, and deep peaty flavours.

Like the original award-winning packaging, The Rock Edition maximises its impact using embossed and debossed techniques to heighten the 3-D ‘reality’ of the new skull design and create a premium feel. The main Smokehead branding is also embossed, while a square letterpress block motif on the rear of the tin, reflecting the bottle label design is joined by a full flavour descriptor that also highlights Smokehead’s connection with music.

Entering its third year as the official drinks sponsor of The Marshall Ultimate Band Contest, the unsigned band showdown, in partnership with legendary Marshall Amps and Lick Library, Smokehead has also established itself as the drink of choice at big rock events including the annual Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards 2009-2011. The must attend event for rock artists and industry heavyweights, previous attendees have included iconic rock legends Slash, Brian May, Jeff Beck and Gene Simmons.

A rich, seaweedy and intensely peaty Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Smokehead is not for the faint hearted. With immense fresh and fruity flavours that burst with notes of sherry, iodine, toffee, smoke and sea salt, Smokehead hits the palate like a cannonball.

Smokehead ‘The Rock Edition’ will be available in the UK and international markets throughout 2012. Smokehead is widely available throughout the UK and worldwide, RRP £33.49. Details of some stockists can be found on the website

Brazilians get a taste for Scotch Whisky

Posted by Ashley Penney on October 8, 2011 at 8:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Their lifestyle is more associated with caipirinhas than kilts, but Brazilians have developed a taste for Scotch Whisky.

Shipments of Scotch to South and Central America grew by 49 per cent to £215 million over the first six months of 2011, according to new figures from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

Scotch Whisky is now the UK’s sixth largest export to Brazil, where sales rose by 56 per cent over the first half of the year. Sales to Columbia were also strong.

A spokesman for the SWA said that whisky is being bought by “generally young, newly affluent” South American consumers who buy the drink to “make a statement” in front of their friends.

The SWA said that total global shipments of Scotch increased by a fifth to £1.8 billion over the first half of the year compared to the first half of 2010. In total, around 569 million bottles were sold.

The USA remains the top export market – with shipments hitting £268m – while France is the second most valuable market.

Exports to Asia rose by a third to £422.5 million. Taiwan is now one of the top five countries in the world for Scotch.

Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the SWA, said: “Scotch Whisky producers can be proud of their continuing success. Scotch Whisky is a main driver for the UK and Scottish economies in building export markets. We are making a

strong contribution to the Scottish Government’s ambition of growing the country’s exports by 50 per cent by 2017.”

He added that a Free Trade Agreement with South Korea and better legal protection for Scotch Whisky in India and Turkey give “optimism for further growth”.

“India and Turkey are now among the countries which recognise Scotch as a product that can only be made in Scotland. We will continue to fight for fairer treatment in overseas markets and to widen Scotch Whisky’s international appeal,” he said.

Dalmore Sets New World Record - £125,000 For One Bottle Of Whisky

Posted by Ashley Penney on October 8, 2011 at 8:15 PM Comments comments (0)

The most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold in retail has been revealed by Whyte & Mackay at the Tax Free World Association Show in Cannes.

The last bottle of The Dalmore 62, released from the personal collection of master distiller Richard Paterson, was sold at Changi Airport in Singapore for £125,000 just two weeks ago.

This breaks the previous retail record set by the same brand after the final bottle of Dalmore 64 was sold in Harrods for £120,000 three months ago.

Whyte & Mackay has also revealed that Jura is the fastest growing malt whisky in the world with a sales increase of 38%, while The Dalmore is the third fastest growing malt with a rise of 34%.

This success is emulated in travel retail where Jura has grown by 48% and The Dalmore by 55% in the last 12 months.

When The Dalmore 62 was first released in 2002 it went down in history as being the most expensive bottle of whisky ever bought and consumed in one sitting. An anonymous business man paid £32,000 for the bottle at the Penny Hill Park hotel in Surrey. After sharing it with friends, the buyer left a tip for the waiter in the form of the last drop of whisky in the bottle estimated to be worth £1000.

The Dalmore creator Richard Paterson kept one of the original 12 bottles back and gave it exclusively to DFS in Singapore. The rare whisky, with spirit dating as far back as 1868, was decanted in to a bespoke hand blown crystal decanter and adorned with the brand’s iconic 12 pointer royal stag’s head – hand crafted in platinum. All this sits in a specially made bespoke wooden presentation case which took over 100 man hours to create.

Dr Vijay Mallya , Chairman of Whyte & Mackay and United Spirits

“I always knew there was massive potential with both of these award winning whiskies. With the right focus and investment, it was clear that Jura and The Dalmore could be highly sought after brands. I’m particularly pleased about Jura as it was my father’s favourite whisky, and it’s great to see it getting the plaudits and success it deserves.”

Mallya continued: “And as for the record breaking Dalmore 62. This is an absolute bargain in my mind. The owner of this fabulous bottle now owns one of the rarest and most exclusive whiskies in the world. It’s a fantastic investment, rising in value by £100,000 in 10 years. How much will it be worth in another 10 years?“

The Dalmore creator Richard Paterson

“The Dalmore 62 is legendary and so many people have asked about buying the last bottle. In the space of 10 years it is has grown in value and is worth five times the original asking price, verifying the luxury credentials of The Dalmore, and confirming that whisky - our “liquid gold” - is an investment worth making.”

New Distillery Visitor Centre Opens on Jura

Posted by Ashley Penney on June 1, 2011 at 1:22 AM Comments comments (0)

Isle of Jura Distillery marked the first day of this year’s Feis Ile with the opening of a new £100,000 Visitor Centre.

The Jura Distillery Visitor Centre, on the same site as the former distillery shop, offers visitors a glimpse into the history and legends of Jura along with an opportunity to savour an authentic taste of single malt from the distillery. The centre also serves as the base of operations for the distillery's tours.

The Visitor Centre takes its inspiration from the island’s legends and symbols, reflecting its literary, cultural and mythical heritage in West of Scotland folklore. Designed to replicate a traditional Hebridean bothy, there is a tasting unit which will serve rare Jura expressions alongside its core range, and a tasting table with a copper Diurachs’ symbol set into the centre. Photos of Diurachs past and present adorn the gallery wall, including key figures from the distillery’s 200 year history, bringing to life many of the associated myths and legends.

Inside the Jura Distillery Visitor Centre guests can purchase an array of Jura merchandise, including hats, jackets, glassware and chocolates, alongside Jura’s extensive range of core and rare whiskies.

Isle of Jura is hoping that the new Visitor Centre will create a long-lasting impression for the island’s rising visitor numbers. Since 2007, visitor numbers have steadily increased year on year, a considerable achievement given the island’s ‘unget-at-able’ location. The increased interest is a reflection of Jura’s strength in the single malt market and the growing trend for whisky tourism. Jura single malt is now the third largest malt in the UK, with year on year growth of 60% across its key markets.

Distillery Manager Willie Cochrane commented:

"Many of those who make the effort to visit Jura do so because of our fine whisky and the rich culture of our remote island. Having a visitor centre that reflects the history and culture of our island, whilst matching the quality of our single malt, will provide our guests with a truer experience of what Jura is all about. More importantly, they will hopefully be more inclined to buy some of our fine whisky and share the magic of Jura with their friends and family!”

Diageo invests £3.5 million in Islay’s Caol Ila distillery

Posted by Ashley Penney on April 15, 2011 at 2:37 PM Comments comments (0)

Diageo has announced a £3.5million investment in the expansion and upgrading of the Caol Ila distillery in Islay, giving a major boost to the whisky industry on the Scottish island.

The distillery – which is located on the Sound of Islay and produces one of the island’s iconic Scotch brands – will see its production capacity increased by 700,000 litres per year, from 5.7 million litres per annum (mla) to 6.4mla.

The extension of the distillery will see two new 62,000-litre washbacks installed in addition to the eight which are already onsite. Washbacks are the vessels in which the fermentation process takes place prior to distillation. It is the new washbacks that will drive the increased production capacity, Diageo explained.

The refurbishment of the distillery will see key equipment upgraded, including the replacement of the distillery’s mash tun – a crucial piece of equipment in the distillation process – and a new control system installed in the stillhouse. Caol Ila's six large onion-shaped copper stills, overlooking the Sound of Islay, are not part of the refurbishment project.

The investment is said to be a major boost to local contractors who will benefit from work on the site, as well as generating a knock-on financial benefit to the local economy from contractors who will be brought on to the island to carry out aspects of the work.

The Caol Ila project builds on the £3 million which Diageo has already invested in upgrading and developing its Port Ellen Maltings on Islay over the past three years.

The refurbishment work is scheduled to take six months beginning in June. The distillery will be closed to public tours for that period; however, the distillery shop will remain open to visitors.

The project is part of Diageo’s rolling programme of capital investment across its Scottish sites, amounting to £600 million over the past six fiscal years – as the company builds capacity to meet rising global demand for its world renowned Scotch whisky brands such as Johnnie Walker. This included the opening of the £40 million Roseisle distillery on Speyside last year – the first major malt whisky distillery to be built in Scotland in over 30 years.

Kevin Sutherland, Diageo’s Senior Site Manager on Islay welcomed the investment as a major boost to the island’s whisky industry. He said: “This is great news for Caol Ila and great news for Islay. An investment of this scale is fantastic for the local economy and it signals Diageo’s deep-rooted commitment to the Islay whisky industry.

“Caol Ila is a wonderful distillery of which we are very proud and I am delighted we are going to be able to produce even more fantastic single malt as well as contributing to the growth of Johnnie Walker and Diageo’s other leading global Scotch brands.”

Diageo Scotland Managing Director Bryan Donaghey said the expansion of Caol Ila was part of an overall programme of investment in the Scotch whisky industry by Diageo.

He said: “Over the past six years Diageo has made around £600 million in capital investment in Scotland, largely aimed at building our capacity to meet the growing demand for Scotch whisky around the world.

“Last year we opened our new £40 million distillery at Roseisle in Speyside and the expansion of Caol Ila demonstrates our commitment to another of Scotland’s great whisky-making locations. The success and growth of our Islay distilleries is central to our ambitions for the Scotch whisky industry and demonstrates again our confidence in and commitment to the future of Scotland and Scotch.”


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