timberland earth Iconic drams return as Brora and Port Ellen distilleries to be reopened
Iconic drams return as Brora and Port Ellen distilleries to be reopened by whisky firm DiageoBoth whiskies have become some of the most highly prized in the world since the distilleries were mothballed in 1983.10:42, 9 OCT 2017Updated17:48, 9 OCT 2017Brora, pictured, and Port Ellen distilleries are to be reopened by whisky firm Diageo (Image: PA)
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Two “lost” Scottish distilleries closed more than 30 years ago are to be brought back to life following a investment in the whisky market.
Port Ellen and Brora have lain silent since they were closed in 1983, but their whiskies have become some of the most highly prized and sought after in the world.
But now whisky company Diageo is set to invest to reopen Port Ellen Distillery on Islay and Brora Distillery on the remote eastern coast of Sutherland.
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Cask filling and traditional warehousing will be included on both sites in an attempt to replicate the original distilleries.
It is hoped the distilleries will become iconic attractions in the Scottish tourism landscape attracting whisky pilgrims from around the globe.
The Brora distillery was built in 1819, although it was known as “Clynelish” until the opening of the Clynelish Distillery in 1968, whereupon the name of the original Clynelish was changed to “Brora”.
“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.
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“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.”
Subject to planning permission and regulatory consents, detailed design, construction and commissioning work, it is expected the distilleries will be in production by 2020.
David Cutter, Diageo President of Global Supply and Procurement, said: “This is no ordinary Scotch whisky distillery investment.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring these iconic distilleries back to life.”
And the move has been welcomed by the Scottish Government.
Responding to the news, Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “I welcome this significant investment by Diageo which will help to create employment in these rural and remote communities and is a sign of the strength and popularity of our iconic whisky industry.