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Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby Spirit of Islay » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:54 pm

Soon sickened ourselves of the "Serious" Springbank talk and resorted to the usual Laddie bashing i see.......
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby smn » Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:25 pm

One odd thing I just realized when checking the Springbank entry for the malt Whisky Yearbook 2008:
- The yearbook lists Springbank as having a capacity of 750000 litres
- It states: "The production team alternates between Springbank and Glengyle and Springbank has for a long time been running under full capacity"
- It also states: "This year around 160000 litres will be produced, split between 80% Springbank, and 10% eaco of the other two"

These three statements don't match at all. 160000 litres is 21.3% of the distillerys full capacity, and if they would've run at full capacity until now they would've produced 375000 litres already.

So .. Was the production cut actually printed out in the Yearbook months ago, or is there some other explanation to this? Only other explanation I could think of would be that 78.7% of springbanks malt goes to blends but that sounds somewhat high given the distillerys profile.

(Long time lurker here, finally managed to register thanks to this thread. Hi all!)
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby sievm » Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:36 am

smn - you will find that a large proportion of some distilleries (larger than 78%) goes for blending so that may explain your figures
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby Single Malt Kommunist » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:16 am

I visited SB a few weeks ago and remember them saying they had 31 employees - thats quite a bit for any distillery (at least from the ones I visited thus far). That combined with rising commodity prices may have caused the man. to look at this as the right time to move to an automated, computerized system. And if production has merely decreased and not stopped completely, then im not sure what the big deal is about. Theyre reorganizing, optimizing, hiring cheap labor from the US, installing solar panels, who knows.

Assuming SB is still selling the same volume of goods, have an excellent credit rating, and are well positioned for the growing whisky market, they would be in a very good position to renegotiate the covenants on their current short/long term loans. So "cash flow problem" as a blanket issue is not going to cut it - they could solve that with debt restructuring. Maybe "fiscally responsible" is more realistic - they dont like to gamble with more/longer debt. Its a family business, right?

And even if SB has an issue with debt, why would they say anything about it, or try to explain the nature of the situation? Theyre private - they dont need to explain their business strategy/business challenge to anyone, especially those who would be pleased with their demise.

Perhaps Im too naive and like to think SB doesnt feel the need to spin up some crap just to keep the old men on the balcony quiet. A toast to the old men on the balcony, for their sarcasm always leaves me smiling!

:wink:
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby weetoon1 » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:20 am

There was talk about opening the malt floors at Glengyle
but they would take some work.
They appear to be roofing an old warehouse at the moment
2 other warehouses on Glebe street were finished last year.
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:48 am

Single Malt Kommunist wrote:Theyre reorganizing, optimizing, hiring cheap labor from the US....


Damn, I missed that advert.
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby kallaskander » Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:51 am

Hi there,

in the hope that John is not adverse to copying from his excellent pages

The REAL scoop on Springbank
July 1st, 2008

Steve Fox, my contact from Springbank's US importer, Preiss Imports, just spoke with Neil Clapperton, managing director for Springbank. I just spoke with Steve. Here's a more clear and concise explanation of what Springbank is doing and why.

Springbank is closing down for approximately six months until January, when they plan to start back up again. When they do, it will be two shifts per day, not the maxed out three shifts per day as they've been doing. They are calling it an extended outage, so we will leave it at that. Also, seven people are being made redundant.

The reason behind the temporary shutdown?

1. Work on a boiler and other maintenance issues
2. They have been producing more than their projected sales growth
3. Limiting warehouse space
4. A desire to grow at a gradual pace
5. Drastically increased price for barley and fuel

And I was told that all those rumors of Springbank being up for sale are false.

So, we can now put all this behind us and find something else to obsess over.

And there is some good news here too. A Springbank 18 year old is slated to be released early in 2009! Something to look forward to.

http://www.maltadvocate.com/what-does-john-know.asp

Greetings
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby kallaskander » Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:58 am

Hi there,

and from the same source the next subject for intense discussion

Glen Moray being sold
July 1st, 2008

It was announced today through various media sources that Glenmorangie plc is going to sell its Glen Moray distillery and focus its efforts (and finances) on Glenmorangie and Ardbeg. It is also going to move its headquarters to Edinburgh from its existing location in Broxburn.

Glen Moray has always been the Bridesmaid to Glenmorangie. Maybe its new owner will show us what this distillery can really do. I particularly enjoyed some of the older vintages of Glen Moray over the years.

http://www.maltadvocate.com/what-does-john-know.asp


To be honest that does not surprise me if it should come to pass. Louis Vitton Moet Henessey have no use for the Glen Moray brand. They were after Ardbeg and Glenmorangie has enough standing for them to keep the beand. But Glen Moray would need too much investment to create a premium image.So they sell it.
The good news here is that Glen Moray will stay in a affordable price range in the future.
Argh, the French in the whisky business. :x

Greetings
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:19 am

Nick Brown wrote: I know I'm a bit of a black hat, but you'd miss me if I weren't here.



:wink: :thumbsup:
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:21 am

kallaskander wrote:

It was announced today through various media sources that Glenmorangie plc is going to sell its Glen Moray distillery and focus its efforts (and finances) on Glenmorangie and Ardbeg.

Greetings
kallaskander


I am crushed ..... does that mean no more Serendipity :cry:
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby kallaskander » Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:05 am

Hi there,

you sure?

I was told but have no proof that there were two batches of Serendipity.

No joke, no irony.

Greetings
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby Newbie » Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:06 am

But IWC think of all the other potential 'accidents waiting to happen'
Perhaps next years single cask Ardbeg will come with a LV handbag or a vatting of a Givenchy fragrance and Glenmorangie - a eau de toilette pour homme :wink:

Nick all I am saying is keep an open mind :thumbsup:
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:19 am

richard wrote:i must admit i took all the articles about springbank tongue in cheek but i did read most of the articles i thought it was a storm in a tea cup :wink:

but if you go to scotchwhisky.net it all seems true a bit of a shock to me go and have a read yourselves


richard :headbang:


Even though this is probably the best report on the subject ... I'd always be very careful in what you read to be true ..... no matter from what media source including reputable Whisky sites.
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby TreacleSponge » Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:24 pm

Newbie wrote:But IWC think of all the other potential 'accidents waiting to happen'
Perhaps next years single cask Ardbeg will come with a LV handbag or a vatting of a Givenchy fragrance and Glenmorangie - a eau de toilette pour homme :wink:

Bring it on :D
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby Rob Allanson » Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:09 pm

This was sent to me and will be appearing in the mag as well:



As a consequence of the continuing instability of basic raw material prices, which have doubled within the last year, the management of J & A Mitchell and Company Ltd. have decided to cut back the production of new spirit at their Springbank and Glengyle Distilleries until prices settle. The state of the materials market will be kept under continuous review.
The opportunity will be taken to carry out necessary maintenance work and create the increased warehousing accommodation required for future development. In the short term there will however, regrettably, be a few staff redundancies. There will be no impact on the availability of bottled Springbank whisky or the Kilkerran whisky from its Glengyle Distillery as the Company has ample stocks of young maturing whisky which will enable it to continue supplying its home and export
markets as normal.
Chairman
J & A Mitchell and Company Ltd.
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:51 pm

Thanks Rob - but that dosen't quell the speculation!

Since they are in the news, have you heard what was said to illicit this petulant message?

[img]You will be aware that J & A Mitchell & Co Ltd. and its subsidiary company Mitchell's Glengyle Ltd., proprietors of the Springbank and Glengyle Distilleries in Campbeltown, were original and enthusiastic members of the Whisky Coast cooperative project. It had been our hope that the Whisky Coast would be mutually beneficial not only to the individual distillery members but also to other businesses involved in tourism and travel in Argyll and Western Inverness-shire.


However it has been brought to our attention that the Chairman of the Whisky Coast has made a public statement which we consider not only inappropriate but also indicative of a hostility to our firms. In the circumstances we do not believe that we can usefully contribute to future activities of the Whisky Coast and we are therefore withdrawing our companies and their distilleries from membership of the Whisky Coast. Whilst no longer contributing to the venture we do, nevertheless, wish members every success in their individual businesses.


Hedley G Wright
Chairman, J & A Mitchell & Co Ltd.
Chairman, Mitchell's Glengyle Ltd.[/img]
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby weetoon1 » Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:56 pm

Mark Reynier, managing director of the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay, said it was an "odd decision from a very odd bunch of people".
He said: "They are not like other businesses. Maybe they decided they just could not be bothered."
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:12 pm

But whisky IS an odd business! I think The Laddie looked worse for that statement than SB but unfrotunately they seem to be throwing the toys out of the pram!
I like Springbank. I like their whisky a lot. Their recent PR doesn't, however, inspire confidence in their management ability to stay afloat.
I remember a tour I had there when they said they had refused to deal with supermarkets. At the time I applauded them for their stand, but where business is concerned, was it the best move?
Nowadays competition for shelf space is at a premium and just getting the name out there - even at a reduced price- is still advertising. They don't need to be massive, but if they are not careful they may, like all other Campbeltown distilleries (bar one), fade away into obscurity.
Apart from "whisky nuts" like us who frequent specialist shops etc. in reality Springbank is not the biggest whisky name, let alone Longrow or Hazelburn.
They need to get the name out there and withdrawing from things like the Whisky coast because of a silly comment does not help their global image.
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby weetoon1 » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:48 pm

Who says Springbank in trouble?
just a few people here.
Neil clapperton appears to be correct in what he said to the
american guy (previous post)
They are working at the moment, they are building warehouses,
They intend distilling enough Whisky to to cover predicted
future sales, they don't supply anyone for blending, when prices settle (up or Down) and they have built extra warehousing, they will return to 3 shifts a day, instead of the 2 shifts a day they are starting in January 2009.
The Guy from the Laddie should have thought about the people who lost jobs.... "they couldn't be bothered"
that's (if he said it ) just Crass!
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:51 pm

Let's not blow Reynier's off-hand comment out of proportion, either--he was simply saying that Springbank marches to the beat of its own drummer. I don't see anything offensive or provocative about it.
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:34 pm

First off - I wouldn't disagree with Mark Reynier's statement - closing production is an odd decision. It was unexpected, and bucks the trend in the industry which is currently to produce at ever increasing rates. I don't know whether the owners are odd people or not, but odd decisions are often made by odd people.

But the statement is certainly not neutral. It might indicate surprise, but also conveys some frustration, despair and a fair amount of sneering disdain. Now I hadn't realized that Mark Reynier was chairman of a marketing venture that included Springbank. But given that he is, and he has been publicly disparaging of Springbank's owners, I can well understand why they pulled out. Mark Reynier was the wrong person to say those things, even if they were what everyone was thinking.
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby corbuso » Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:57 pm

Nick Brown wrote:First off - I wouldn't disagree with Mark Reynier's statement - closing production is an odd decision. It was unexpected, and bucks the trend in the industry which is currently to produce at ever increasing rates. I don't know whether the owners are odd people or not, but odd decisions are often made by odd people.

But the statement is certainly not neutral. It might indicate surprise, but also conveys some frustration, despair and a fair amount of sneering disdain. Now I hadn't realized that Mark Reynier was chairman of a marketing venture that included Springbank. But given that he is, and he has been publicly disparaging of Springbank's owners, I can well understand why they pulled out. Mark Reynier was the wrong person to say those things, even if they were what everyone was thinking.

It the decision really that odd? Trend in the industry is to produce more and more and most of the companies now have moved to a short term view. Maybe Springbank is looking at long term perspective and they might have some doubts on how the whisky market will move in the next few years to come.
And as mentioned in other posts, they are not inactive and might be simply preparing the future their way. Springbank is in the business for a long term and just let's wait and see.

J&A Mitchell has a different philosophy than the Bruichladdich team and the story of the Whisky Coast might be a difference of culture.

Corbuso

.......
http://www.whisky-news.com
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby Jimmy321 » Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:24 pm

Rob Allanson wrote:This was sent to me and will be appearing in the mag as well:



As a consequence of the continuing instability of basic raw material prices, which have doubled within the last year, the management of J & A Mitchell and Company Ltd. have decided to cut back the production of new spirit at their Springbank and Glengyle Distilleries until prices settle. The state of the materials market will be kept under continuous review.
The opportunity will be taken to carry out necessary maintenance work and create the increased warehousing accommodation required for future development. In the short term there will however, regrettably, be a few staff redundancies. There will be no impact on the availability of bottled Springbank whisky or the Kilkerran whisky from its Glengyle Distillery as the Company has ample stocks of young maturing whisky which will enable it to continue supplying its home and export
markets as normal.
Chairman
J & A Mitchell and Company Ltd.


Perfectly reasonable explanation and no reason to question it!
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby Rob Allanson » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:08 am

Further to what I posted yesterday, Dave has been having discussions with Springbank and it appears they will be back on song in January.

ta.
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby sievm » Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:30 am

Which makes their statement even more confusing - they cannot expect food and energy prices to stabilise by January. Energy prices are expected to rise 35-45% over the winter.

Curiouser and curiouser.
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:38 pm

Pot calling Kettle Black I think here with Mr Reynier because of course Bruichladdich are not odd at all are they.....


If you ask me they are the most off beat of the wall oddball distillery going .... does not mean it's a bad thing though...... :lol:
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:39 pm

The "cutback" is from three shifts to two, commencing in January (resulting in some operational redundancies), following a period of idleness during which some necessary maintenance will be done. I realize that they aren't doing a very good job of making all this clear, but apparently they are very odd people.

Reynier has a habit of saying things he oughtn't in ways he oughtn't. All the more reason not to get too wrapped up in his comments. If he has made thoughtless statements after jumping to conclusions based on incomplete and faulty information, he might perhaps consider becoming a member of this forum.
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby fishboy » Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:29 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:If he has made thoughtless statements after jumping to conclusions based on incomplete and faulty information, he might perhaps consider becoming a member of this forum.


:lol: :lol:

you missed out thoughtless statements made after jumping to conclusions based on no information at all.

:wink:

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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:07 am

I think a major issue has been missed. People are losing their jobs because of this decision. Now either they were pretty duff are what they were doing and this is a nice easy way to give them the chop, or there are more significant financial issues at work -and the general increase in raw materials fuel etc simply does not wash. If that alone is enough to sack folk then all our coats are on shoogly nails.

Someone can help out here - what's the cost implication to a distillery for membership of the "Whisky Coast"?

No, I am not at all convinced by their rather weak statement. I very much doubt they will come out with the real reason. Its business speak - just as Mr Rose insists everything's rosy in M&S!! Ma Boz!
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby gazongwa » Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:09 pm

Taken from The Springbank Society forum
Hi There



It is now nearly six months since we took the difficult decision to temporarily suspend the production of spirit from both Springbank and Glengyle Distilleries . There were a few contributing factors which led to our decision and these included the high price of electricity , oil , empty casks and barley . The Still House roof also required replacing and this has now been completed . Our warehouses were pretty full of maturing stock but with bottling continuing to fulfil demand world wide for our products more warehouse space is now available . Six months ago we said that " the material market will be kept under continuous review " and we can now clarify that we will commence production from both of our distilleries during early 2009 .

The price of utilities has dropped dramatically recently and we will take advantage of this to get the distilleries producing again . J & A Mitchell have recently been reported by one whisky writer to be like " the canary in the coal mine " . If you remember coal miners used to use a canary as an early warning system to detect gas at the coal face . We reckon that we have recognised the warning signals early enough and acted sensibly to protect our brands , and of course the canary . After 180 + years in distilling we think that we know how to react to trends within our industry .

This year we commissioned local farmer Robert Miller to grow 25 acres of Optic barley. The crop has produced 50 tonnes of barley which now lies in our barley loft and we await the barley to come out of dormancy . Distillery Manager Stuart Robertson is carrying out weekly " mini steeps " of the barley in small plastic food containers , they actually look suspiciously like his sandwich box . Once the barley " wakes up " and can germinate we will start malting . The local barley supplemented with malted barley already stored in our malt storage bins will ensure production of spirit at both our distilleries for up to six months next year, great news .


Frank. McHardy.
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Re: Springbank rumour distillery to be mothballed?

Postby Iain » Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:22 pm

[quote="gazongwa"]Taken from The Springbank Society forum...
[quote]

If only Frank McHardy had been Chief Exec of Royal Bank of Scotland...
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