A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
The world’s leading premium drinks business says proposal of Application Notices (PANs) will be lodged in relation to three possible sites for the new distillery.
No final decision has been taken on the location. One will be submitted to Highland Council for a possible development at Teaninich, Ross-shire, and two will be submitted to Moray Council for potential development at Glendullan and Inchgower, both on Speyside. All three locations are adjacent to existing Diageo distilleries.
Diageo says the PAN process allows for consultation to begin with local communities in advance of a full planning application being submitted.
Subject to the planning process and the final decision on location, Diageo plans to build a new malt whisky distillery which would produce approximately 13 million litres of alcohol per year. It would also involve an on-site bio-energy plant which would use the co-products of distillation to provide renewable energy to the distillery.
Included in the pre-applications are proposals for expansions of the existing distilleries, at Teaninich and Glendullan.
The submission of PANs for a new build distillery and the expansion of existing distilleries are the first step in the £1 billion investment plan to expand scotch whisky production capacity over the next five years, which was announced by Diageo in June.
Brian Higgs, Diageo malt distilling director said: “Earlier this year Diageo announced plans to invest £1 billion in expanding its malt whisky production capacity in Scotland in order to meet growing global demand for our brands.
“A key part of that investment plan is the building of a new malt whisky distillery. We are still working to finalise the location of the new distillery, but it will be one of the three sites where we have submitted pre-planning applications,” he said.
“It’s necessary for us to begin the planning process at all three potential locations, so we will be able to move forward as quickly as possible with construction of the new distillery once our final location decision has been made,” said Higgs.