Whisky Magazine Issue 118
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More casks are required
As we all know, the Scotch whisky industry is ramping up production to meet increasing demand around the world, reopening silent distilleries, adding capacity to existing plants, and building entirely new distilleries.
As more spirit is produced, so more casks are required in which to mature it, leading to a greater focus on the work of Scotland's cooperages. In 2011 Diageo unveiled its £10 million state-of-the-art Cambus Cooperage in Central Scotland; and last year Speyside Cooperage opened a new, purpose-built unit just a stone's throw from the Diageo facility, replacing its previous plant at Broxburn, near Edinburgh.
The ‘original' Speyside Cooperage at Craigellachie, near Aberlour, is a popular visitor attraction on the Malt Whisky Trail, with the business being established by the father and grandfather of Willie and Douglas Taylor back in 1947. However, from 1996, while Douglas ran the Speyside operation, Willie headed up a lower profile arm of the business at Broxburn. “Our Craigellachie site allowed us to secure business from the bulk of the malt distilleries,” explains Willie Taylor, “but because of its location, it excluded us for the main part from working with grain distilleries.
Even 17 years ago centralisation was taking place in the Scotch whisky industry, with lots of tankerisation, and the focus for maturation moving south to the Central Belt. There was still plenty of business in the north, but we felt we couldn't grow the company without getting ...