Distiller’s double island investment

Bunnahabhain on Islay is undergoing an extensive refurbishment

SOUTH African drinks company Distell in investing in its Scotch whisky portfolio with extensive refurbishments of two distilleries.

The company has recently completed a two-year refurbishment of its Tobermory distillery on Mull, marking the relaunch of the facility with a new 12 year old whisky, and has begun a three-year project at its Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay.

Tobermory has not been producing whisky for the past two years while its production and visitor facilities were upgraded. It distils two single malts in the course of the year: Tobermory, which is unpeated; and peated single malt Ledaig. In addition to these whiskies, the upgraded distillery is expected to produce other spirits when it resumes production in spring.

Meanwhile, a £10.5 million refurbishment and upgrade of Bunnahabhain is to include a new visitor centre and six holiday cottages as well as the distillery itself.

Unlike Tobermory, production at Bunnahabhain will continue during the works.

Derek Scott, brand director for malts at Distell, said the project “is about improving the operational side of our distillery for the long-term future”.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

In addition to Tobermory and Bunnahabhain, Distell also owns the Deanston distillery in Perthshire.