Whisky making returning to the Cabrach in Speyside after 170 years

Whisky making returning to the Cabrach in Speyside after 170 years

The Cabrach Distillery, which is being opened by the Cabrach Trust, has launched a members' community and a range of whiskies ahead of its anticipated start of production in August

News | 23 Apr 2024

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The Cabrach Distillery in Speyside is preparing for a return to whisky making after a hiatus of more than 170 years.


Located at Inverharroch in the remote Cabrach area of north-east Scotland, the Cabrach Distillery is set to start spirit production in August.


It reached a major milestone in its construction this month with the arrival of its stills from Speyside manufacturer Forsyths, which has also made a “generous” donation to the project. It has also announced the launch of a members' club and its first whisky range.


Community interest company the Cabrach Trust is reviving the distillery as part of a wider regeneration project in the Cabrach. Despite a storied cultural history (including in illicit whisky production) and strong community spirit, this isolated area of northern Scotland has historically lagged behind in economic terms and has suffered from depopulation in recent years, compounding its decline.


The new distillery will be a cornerstone of the Cabrach Trust's plans for the area, providing a valuable local product, creating an estimated 12 full-time jobs and 50 volunteering posts, and attracting tourists to the area. The development is located at Inverharroch Farm; the site's 19th-century stone steadings have been restored and will house a café and heritage centre as well as the distillery.


It will distil its single malt whisky using traditional methods, with production limited to small batches. Its whisky distilling activities will benefit from the guidance of The Glenlivet's former master distiller Alan Winchester, who will oversee production. 

A view of the lower Cabrach looking over Inverharroch.

Jonathan Christie, CEO of the Cabrach Trust, said: “The Cabrach is renowned for its role in the birth of malt whisky and completion of the Cabrach Distillery will contribute to a tale of renewal like no other. Whisky distilleries are so often the lungs of rural communities, and our new distillery will anchor our regeneration vision, creating much-needed permanent, skilled employment whilst attracting thousands of visitors to this special place, who will be able to discover the area’s rich history, heritage, and natural beauty.” 


Ahead of its opening the distillery has launched the Cabrach Collective. This will be a community of up to 1,849 members (in honour of the date of the original Cabrach Distillery's founding in 1849) who will support the journey to bring whisky making back to the Cabrach. Membership is priced at £1,245 per person and will include access to a range of exclusive bottlings, including the inaugural Cabrach single malt and Collective-only releases, alongside other benefits.


The distillery has also unveiled its inaugural whisky offering, the Feering, which will be a trio of releases curated by Winchester. It is named after the first furrow ploughed in a field which provides a guideline for the rest. The first release, the Feering Early Harvest Edition, is a blended malt produced from casks donated by four neighbouring Speyside distilleries. A total of 6,000 bottles will be available to purchase from the Whisky Shop and select local retailers, with a recommended price of £75.


Alan Winchester, master of malt at the Cabrach Distillery, said: “Ahead of the opening of the distillery we are proud to launch the Cabrach Collective, an opportunity for whisky enthusiasts to join us on this remarkable journey and play a vital part in restoring a proud community like few others. One of the key member benefits is the Feering, which has been created for the sole purpose of beginning the regeneration of this special place in Scotland’s malt whisky story.”


More information about the Cabrach Distillery and the Cabrach Collective can be found at www.thecabrach.com.

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