Last night (Tuesday December 3), I attended a tasting of Balblair vintages. We tasted five whiskies, 2003, 1997, 1990, 1983 and 1969, prefaced by a glass of Balblair’s base spirit.
The company is consulting the local community and planners regarding a location on the banks of the River Spey near Carron. The project falls within the annual £40m investment level which the company announced in May - and it could come about by 2015.
The new distillery would supply Speyside malt whisky for the Chivas Brothers portfolio of blended whiskies to be sold around the world. It will benefit from the “latest innovation and environmental expertise, such as heat recovery technology”.
Chairman and CEO Christian Porta said: “Our success in growing our brands across the world, in existing and new markets, to many historical highs means that creating new distillation capacity is a key next step for our business. This new distillery will supply high quality Speyside malt whisky for many of our blends in the years to come. This is another example of our sustained investment in our Scotch whisky operations which, combined with consistent innovation and marketing, will continue to drive the growth of our business.”
The new distillery would occupy the site of the silent Imperial Distillery, which has been inactive since 1998 and was acquired by Chivas Brothers in 2005.
Earlier this year, Chivas Brothers announced its plans to grow its malt whisky distillation capacity by 25% by April 2013 with the re-opening of Glen Keith distillery and expansions at four existing Speyside distilleries. It also increased the capacity of The Glenlivet Distillery by 75% in 2010 in light of increasing sales of the global No 2 single malt.