New £25m Chivas distillery openedBy Chris Tilbury
Nicola Sturgeon hailed the “exceptional quality” of Scotch whisky as she opened the new Chivas Brothers distillery in Carron this morning.
The £25m state-of-the-art Dalmunach distillery is capable of producing up to 10 million litres per year.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, said: “Scotch Whisky is one of Scotland’s iconic brands and is in huge demand all over the globe due to the exceptional quality the industry produces.
“It is hugely important to the Scottish economy and its protected EU status means it has an unmatched international reputation.”
The official opening sees the culmination of an investment package, which has increased the company’s distillation capacity by 17% and will help support the global demand for its brands, which include Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s and Royal Salute.
Laurent Lacassagne, Chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers, said: “It is a real pleasure to see this piece of land in Carron which has had a role in whisky making all the way back to 1897 play a future role in whisky production.”
The design and construction of the new facility was overseen by Douglas Cruickshank, who stepped back from his role as Chivas Brothers’ production director two years ago to concentrate on the project.
The architecture of Dalmunach has been inspired by the shape of a sheaf of barley, reflecting the core ingredient of single malt whisky. It will house eight unique copper pot stills with a tulip shape used for the wash stills and an onion shape used for the spirit stills, copying those from the Imperial distillery, which has occupied the site from 1897 to 2012.
Original features from the previous distillery have been carefully incorporated to ensure a sense of heritage remains intact. Red brick from the original mill building has been reclaimed to create a feature wall in the new entrance area. Dalmuncach also features a unique hexagonal spirit safe housing four safes with a waterfall feature, which is a first in the Scotch whisky industry.
It is a fitting end to his career with the company, which began at the age of 15 at the Imperial Distillery, which sat on the same ground until it was mothballed in 1998.
He said: “Dalmunach is a shining example of the collaboration of the many functions within Chivas pooling their knowledge, experience and creativity to deliver a modern distillery that has surpassed all expectations in respect of visual impact, plant performance, energy efficiency and spirit quality.”