Thursday, May 24, 2018


Stòras Uibhist, the community company that runs the estate on the Hebridean islands of South Uist, Eriskay and Benbecula, has announced plans to build a £10m distillery and visitors centre in Lochboisdale, marking a return of whisky production to the islands for the first time since 1844.

The new distillery will be located near the south of the islands, close to the site where the SS Politician sank in 1941. The sinking of which went on to inspire the book and film ‘Whisky Galore’.

New distillery announced for 'Whisky Galore' Hebridean island

The distillery which will be owned and run by the local community, is expected to produce 300,000 litres of whisky each year, with the potential to increase to 1,000,000 litres, as the brand grows and develops.

Local grown barley will be used to make the whisky, which will provide additional income to local crofters.  A malting floor will be part of the design of the distillery, to avoid having to export the barley for malting and bringing it back to the island.  Local peat will also be used to produce distinctive smoky whiskies.

The distillery buildings and processes will be designed to the highest environmental standards, with waste heat being transferred to distillery buildings and the local community.

Commenting on the news, Angus MacMillan, Chairman of Stòras Uibhist, said: “This distillery will be a significant investment in the future of our communities.  Distilleries last for centuries and represent a significant long-term investment, creating quality jobs and incomes for generations to come. The Scottish islands have a long tradition of producing some of the finest whiskies in the world, so we look forward to building on that legacy.  The world whisky market is evolving as educated buyers are moving away from blends toward single malts, so there is lots of scope for another high-quality malt whisky from the Scottish islands.”

He went onto say: “The inclusion of a distillery visitor centre is hugely important to the economy of the area and adds to other tourist attractions including fishing, shooting and the rediscovered Old Tom Morris golf course at Askernish. Last year, the new distillery on the Isle of Harris attracted around 80,000 visitors, which shows the potential that could be tapped by our islands.  There would also be the opportunity to work with the Harris distillery on a Western Isles Whisky Trail, encompassing all the legends and traditions of the SS Politician, with great quality products and the famous hospitality of the Western Isles.”

The distillery will provide a number of full time jobs, across all of the functions including warehousing, administration and customer service. It will also be looking to hire a creative and highly experience distillery manager, who will manage and supervise the whole process, from field to bottle.

Posted by Steve Rush