Tuesday, February 26, 2019


Distell International, has today announced that its £10.5m upgrade of its Islay based Bunnahabhain Distillery has begun.

As part of the three-year upgrade project, a number of the original distillery buildings will be carefully restored, whilst others including some of the existing warehouses, will be removed and relocated to create more space.

Bunnahabhain Distillery's £10.5m upgrade gets underway

A key focal point for the development programme is the creation of a new brand home and visitor centre. This will also feature a café and retail space which will be positioned along the shoreline overlooking Bunnahabhain Bay and the Sound of Islay.

Work has already commenced with the demolition of four warehouse buildings, as well as the start of upgrades to the existing pumphouse. So far, over 99% of the materials processed during the demolition have been recycled with the majority retained for re-use at the distillery.

Commenting on the news, Derek Scott, Brand Director for Malts at Distell International, said: “Our investment programme, here at Bunnahabhain, is about improving the operational side of our distillery for the long-term future. We are restoring our buildings to their former glory and providing a visitor experience where we don’t just welcome visitors, after the long winding journey to get here, we help them enjoy a piece of Bunnahabhain life.”

He went onto say: “The plans aim to make the navigation of the site much easier for the visitor and to, in simple terms, declutter it. This will ensure the buildings are more efficient from a storage point of view and located in better suited, more accessible locations to the production buildings. Furthermore, we are committed to reducing the environmental impact of the works. The whisky industry is starting to be more environmentally aware and our achievement of recycling over 99% of materials shows, with a little bit of extra effort, it is remarkable what we can achieve.”

He concluded by saying: “Bunnahabhain has a special place in Islay’s whisky heritage and we are committed to retaining this by turning Bunnahabhain Bay into a world-class whisky destination of choice. As the most remote and northerly distillery on the island, our transformation will give those who have made the journey time to pause, forget about the rest of the world and enjoy the serene surroundings.”

The new Bunnahabhain brand home and visitors centre is planned to open at the start of the 2020 season.

Posted by Steve Rush