Thursday, January 21, 2016


Independent Scotch whisky specialists Hunter Laing & Co, have announced plans to build the first new distillery on Islay in a decade.

An application has been submitted with Argyll and Bute Council to build the new malt whisky distillery at Ardnahoe, on the North East coast of the island. Should permission be granted for the £8m project, land currently owned by Islay Estates will be transferred to the whisky company.

Hunter Laing & Co's proposed new distillery on Islay

Since Hunter Laing & Co began operating in May 2013, the highly successful independent bottler and blender has been investigating the opportunities for owning its own distillery. After extensive work, the family pinpointed the four-acre site near Port Askaig as the only viable option to meet the needs for their expanding business. Subject to approvals, the new distillery is expected to see the first drop flow from their stills by the end of 2017.

Commenting on the news, Andrew Laing, Company Director, said: “We have shown formidable growth in the last two years and the time is now right for us to invest for the future. While this is our family’s first foray into distilling, my father’s 50 year record of blending quality products of high demand and our three generations of expertise in the whisky industry ensures we enter this venture with strong confidence.”

The construction of the new distillery is planned in two phases, with the first seeing the establishment of distilling operations, warehousing and a visitor centre comprising of a café, tasting room and shop.  The second will see an expansion of distilling operations and further warehousing.

Contractors for the build have been identified and will begin cutting turf in May 2016, pending a 21 day public consultation period and approval.

Posted by Steve Rush