£35 million cash injection will see distilleries in Islay and Brora re-opened
PLANS TO revive two of Scotland’s iconic “lost” whisky distilleries after their closure 34 years ago have been confirmed.
Islay’s Port Ellen distillery and Brora on the East coast are to be re-opened, following a £35 million cash injection from drinks giant Diageo. Both distilleries were shut down in the 1980s amidst a downturn in the whisky sector’s fortunes. Today’s news illustrates an increased popularity in the scotch whisky industry, which contributes almost £5 billion to the UK economy annually and supports over 40,000 jobs (according to figures from the Scotch Whisky Association).
Since Brora and Port Ellen were closed, their namesake whiskies have become increasingly rare, and malt whisky fanatics have been calling for the re-opening of the distilleries for years now. Both distilleries will sit in what are – arguably – Scotland’s two most iconic locations for Whisky production: the Isle of Islay and Speyside.
Islay even holds a whisky themed music festival each spring, called Fèis Ìle, with events and tasting throughout the island.
The Whisky industry is the second largest employer in Islay, owing in no small part to the recent boom in so-called “whisky tourism”. Indeed, Islay even holds a whisky themed music festival each spring, called Fèis Ìle, with events and tasting throughout the island.
Speyside single malts – in the north-east of Scotland – are no less renowned, being home to the two most popular single malts in the world: Glenlivet and Glenfiddich.
“It reflects the strong growth in the single malt Scotch market” Diageo
Diageo – which is currently the second largest distiller in the world – said that the decision to re-open Brora and Port Ellen distilleries was partly a response to demands from enthusiasts but also that it: “reflects the strong growth in the single malt Scotch market and the opportunity to create new generations of whisky consumers.”
The newly revived distilleries – which should be in production by 2020 – will actually be among Diageo’s smallest, producing 800,000 litres per year, and they intend to replicate as closely as possible the original tastes of Port Ellen and Brora.
Picture courtesy of Skeeze
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