Green light for new Scotch whisky distillery2nd May, 2012 by Gabriel Savage
Planning permission has been granted for a new whisky distillery in Ardnamurchan on the west coast of Scotland.
This confirmation sets in motion a project that has been planned by the Adelphi Distillery since 2007 as a solution to growing demand for Scotch whisky from markets around the world.
Since its own distilling operations ceased at the beginning of the 20th century, Adelphi’s business has focused on bottling single casks of malt whisky from a number of other distilleries.
However when the independent company began searching for the best solution to meet the uplift in demand for Scotch whisky, sales & marketing director Alex Bruce explained: “We have always wanted to return Adelphi to its distilling roots.”
Located 1.5 miles from Adephi’s Glenborrodale Castle headquarters, the new distillery will be the most westerly in mainland Scotland and aims to become operational before the end of next year.
With no other distilleries in the immediate area, Bruce outlined the character expected to come from this corner of Scotland, saying: “Just as Islay has its iodine and Orkney a more heathery smoke, Ardnamurchan should be both maritime and sweet.”
As part of a drive to encourage this distinctive style, Bruce added: “If possible, we plan to use Ardnamurchan peat in our traditional floor malting on site to provide these new flavours.”
Initially the company plans to produce three main styles. Bruce described these as “a coastal Highland”, which will be peated to around 20 parts per million, considerably lower than many Islay whiskies; as well as a “lighter peated version” and a non-peated style.
While the most peated part of the range will be matured predominantly in American oak, the two lighter styles will use ex-Sherry casks.
According to Bruce, Adelphi hopes to release its first “mainstream” whiskies at between five and eight years old, although he emphasised: “This will depend on how the makes mature.” In addition, Bruce revealed: “We would also hope to release special single casks as and when they mature.”
By building a distillery from scratch, Adelphi has been able to incorporate a number of environmentally friendly elements into its design.
The distillery’s main source of fuel will come from a wood chip-fuelled biomass plant, supplied from the sustainable woodland around the estate. The site will also generate hydro-electric power from the river.
Built into the plans is a further collaborative project with Napier University in Edinburgh and recently established firm Celtic Renewables, which will see bio-fuel created using pot ale and draff by-products from the distillation process.