Major drinks company Allied has committed its future to its malt whisky portfolio by putting its money where its mouth is and investing an estimated £4 million in its Scapa and Glendronach distilleries.
And new expressions of both distilleries will be available almost immediately as the company gears up to reopening the Orkney distillery later in the year and revamping its operation at Glendronach in Speyside.
The move secures the future of the two whisky distilleries after the company recognised it was in an all or nothing situation: to invest properly or close the declining distilleries altogether.
The majority of the multi-million investment will be spent on significant works at the Scapa distillery, enabling it to re-open full-time. Built in 1885, but operating on a part time basis since 1997, Scapa is expected to be fully operational in January 2005, with further work being phased over a two-year period. Once operational the distillery will employ three full-time staff with additional part-time staff as required.
The investment programme at the Glendronach distillery in Aberdeenshire will be centred on upgrading the current coal-fired stills to comply with EU legislation. The Glendronach has a long and distinguished history, having been established in 1826 by one of the original whisky entrepreneurs, James Allardice. Today it is the second biggest malt whisky brand in the Allied Domecq portfolio behind Laphroaig.