A legal supply of whisky could be coming to Barra – the island where classic filmWhisky Galore was made – if the man behind the Arran distillery has his way.
Andrew Currie, who created the Isle of Arran Distillery with his father, now plans a boutique operation on far-flung Barra. He’s identified a site, set up a company, appointed architects, and plans to advertise soon for locally grown ‘bere’, an early variety of malting barley.
Uisge Beatha nan Eilean Ltd (The Island Whisky Company) will distil a tiny 25,000 litres a year but Currie is confident.
“I believe a small production of very high quality whisky taps into the future of the malt market,” he says.
Like Arran, the distillery will incorporate a visitor centre and café from the outset. To build on the Compton McKenzie connection there are plans for a resource centre dedicated to the novelist whose works formed the basis for the popular television series Monarch of the Glen.
“We’ll show Whisky Galore and I hope to have original recordings of Compton McKenzie reading his works from the 1930s,” says Mr Currie.
Also like Arran, Uisge Beatha nan Eilean will offer ‘whisky bonds’ and the chance to buy your own cask of new made spirit. Mr Currie hopes that the Barra community will buy up to 10 per cent of the shares in the company.
Financing will start in earnest by the end of the year and it is hoped to break ground on the development in Spring 2005.
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