Monday, October 09, 2017


Diageo, has announced plans to bring back to life two of its most iconic distilleries, which fell silent after being closed in the 1980s.

Port Ellen and Brora distilleries, will once again see its stills come alive, as part of a £35 million investment, which is also said to be a statement of confidence by Diageo, in the future of the Scotch whisky industry.

Port Ellen Distillery on Islay

Port Ellen Distillery on Islay, and Brora on the remote eastern coast of Sutherland, which both closed in 1983, will both be reinstated to distil in carefully controlled quantities, with a meticulous attention to detail, replicating where possible the distillation regimes and spirit character of the original distilleries. Cask filling and traditional warehousing will also be included on the sites of both distilleries.

For many years whisky fans around the world have called on Diageo to reopen these closed distilleries. The decision is partly a response to those demands from existing enthusiasts but it also reflects the strong growth in the single malt Scotch market and the opportunity to create new generations of whisky consumers.

The investment will also include the building of dedicated Brand Homes at the distilleries to welcome guests and they are expected to become iconic attractions in the Scottish tourism landscape.

Commenting on the news, Dr Nick Morgan, Diageo’s Head of Whisky Outreach, said: “This is a truly exceptional moment in Scotch whisky. Port Ellen and Brora are names which have a uniquely powerful resonance with whisky-lovers around the world and the opportunity to bring these lost distilleries back to life is as rare and special as the spirit for which the distilleries are famous."

He went onto say: “Only a very few people will ever be able to try the original Port Ellen and Brora single malts as they become increasingly rare, so we are thrilled that we will now be able to produce new expressions of these whiskies for new generations of people to enjoy. Scotch whisky is Scotland’s gift to the world and the rebirth of these distilleries is a great gift to malt whisky lovers everywhere.”

The new Brora and Port Ellen distilleries, will be among Diageo’s smallest distilleries, capable of producing 800,000 litres of alcohol per year. Subject to planning permission and regulatory consents, detailed design, construction and commissioning work, the distilleries are expected to start production by 2020. 

Posted by Steve Rush