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Diageo to reopen two Scottish whisky distilleries

DBR Staff Writer Published 10 October 2017

British multinational alcoholic beverages company Diageo is investing £35m to revive two Scottish whisky distilleries, Port Ellen and Bora.

These two distilleries have been closed since 1983. Diageo said the whiskies they produced have become some of the most highly prized and sought after liquids in Scotch whisky

Diageo whisky outreach head Nick Morgan, 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.

“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.”

Diageo says that the closed down distilleries will be opened and will distil carefully controlled quantities, with high attention to detail.

The process and distilling regimes used by the respective distilleries will be replicated to the extent possible. Cask filling and traditional warehousing will also be done at the distilleries.

There will be dedicated brand homes will be developed for the distilleries to welcome guests and over time they are expected to become iconic tourist attractions, attracting Scotch whisky-lovers from around the world.

Diageo says that it still needs to obtain planning permission, regulatory consents, design, construction and commissioning work. It is expected that the distilleries will start production by 2020.

Diageo’s global scotch category director, Cristina Diezhandino, said: “Brora and Port Ellen are rightly revered around the world for their rarity and exceptional quality. Everything we do with these distilleries and brands will remain true to these values.

“It is thrilling that, as the spirit from the original distilleries becomes vanishingly rare, our distillers at Brora and Port Ellen will be carefully crafting new whiskies to delight and inspire new generations of Scotch lovers around the world.”

The Johnnie Walker and Smironoff vodka maker says that there will be limited production from these two distilleries which will be limited to 800,000 litres per year, for now.

Image: Diageo to invest in two lost distilleries in the UK. Photo: Courtesy of Diageo.