9 of the most exciting new whisky distillery development projects

With the number of new whisky distilleries beginning to rise in Scotland, we thought we would take a look at some of the most exciting projects that are set to begin construction.

Published 22nd Sep 2016
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

With the recent announcement that work was to begin on new distilleries on Rassay, Skye and in Glasgow, we thought we'd take a look at the plans for some of Scotland's newest and most exciting whisky developments.

Clydeside Distillery

(Location: Glasgow, Owners: Morrison Glasgow Distillers Ltd, Due Date: Autumn 2017)


Picture: Morrison Glasgow Distillers Ltd

The new project to create the second distillery in Glasgow (following The Glasgow Distilling Company) will transform the Pump House, located near the Hydro, into the new Clydeside Distillery. Tim Morrison, formerly of Morrison Bowmore Distillers and current proprietor of the AD Rattray Scotch Whisky Company has headed up the project along with a team of private investors and the £10.5m venture aims to be up and running late 2017.

Ardnahoe Distillery

(Location: Islay, Owners: Hunter Laing & Co., Due Date: Early 2018)


Picture: Hunter Laing

Hunter Laing & Co. has been given the green light from Argyll and Bute Council to build the first new malt whisky distillery on Islay in over a decade.

The Glasgow based whisky company will now push ahead with construction in November at the site at Ardnahoe, on the north east coast of Islay near Port Askaig. Plans for the site also include a visitor centre comprising of a café, tasting room and shop. The distillery will create many full-time positions on the island, as well as a number of seasonal roles.

Torabhaig Distillery

(Location: Isle of Skye, Owners: Mossburn Distillers Ltd , Due Date: Late 2017 )


Picture: Mossburn Distillers Ltd

The plans to build a second distillery on Skye (following on from the famous Talisker) will see the new distillery being built within a listed early 19th century farm steading at Torabhaig on the island’s south-east coast.

According to company behind the project The Torabhaig Distillery will cost more than £5 million and employ around eight people, and will begin to produce its first spirit towards the end of 2017.

Raasay Distillery

(Location: Isle of Raasay, Owners: R & D Distillers, Due Date: April 2017)

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Picture: R B Distillers

Construction has already begun on building the new Scotch whisky distillery on the Isle of Raasay, with R & B Distillers saying they are aiming for production to commence in April next year.

The company received permission from the Highland Council in February 2016 to build the first legal distillery on the remote Isle of Raasay.

They are aiming to have the first single malt from Raasay bottled in 2020 and predict that they will produce 150,000 bottles of Scotch whisky a year. The team also hope their new visitor centre will bring in 12,000 visitors to the island in the first year.

Drimnin Distillery

(Location: Morvern, Highlands, Owners: Drimnin Distillery limited, Due Date: Early 2017)

Picture: Drinmin Estate

Picture: Drimnin Estate

Plans for a new small distillery for single malt Scotch whisky distillery built in the historic farm buildings adjacent to Drimnin House, are set to go ahead after attracting investment from HIE and through the Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation grant scheme.

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The company say the whisky will be produced using renewable energy from wood chip harvested in the Estate forests and that they hope to create employment for local residents.

Holyrood Park Distillery

(Location: Edinburgh, Owners: David Robertson, Due Date: Early 2018)

An artist's impression of the distillery. Picture; contributed

An artist's impression of the distillery. Picture: contributed

Plans for a new distillery in Edinburgh's city centre could see the first single malt whisky distillery opening in the captial in more than 90 years.

The project, which has been given the go-ahead aims to transform a former Engine Shed building on St Leonard’s Lane into the Holyrood Park Distillery and visitor centre.

When completed, it will be Edinburgh’s first single malt whisky distillery since Glen Sciennes closed in the 1920s. Work is due to start in the next few months with doors expected to open in 2018.

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The Borders Distillery

(Location: Hawick, Owners: The Three Stills Company Ltd, Due Date: July 2017)


Picture: The Three Stills Company Ltd

Three Stills Company Ltd announced in November that it had secured funding for a new £10million distillery and visitor centre in Hawick, which will be known as The Borders Distillery, and it has (at time of writing) submitted a planning application to Scottish Borders Council (SBC).

The plans state there will be a reception, shop and café on the ground floor alongside two large industrial sheds which will house the distillery equipment, while the first floor will include exhibition and whisky-tasting areas.

Three Stills hopes to start work on the development later this year and plans to open for business in July 2017.

GlenWyvis Distillery

(Location: Dingwall, Owners: Glenwyvis Distillery Community Benefit Society, Due Date: January 2017)

With the success of their recent crowd-funding campaign, the Glen Wyvis Community Benefit Society are now forging ahead in their bid to “reinstate craft whisky distilling to the Dingwall area”.

Construction of the distillery is due to begin this year with the first run of whisky planned for Burns Night 25 January 2017.

The group say that not only will the firm be 100 per cent community owned, the new distillery will also be completely powered by green energy.

Dornoch Distillery

(Location: Dornoch, Owners: Dornoch Distillery Company , Due Date: Round about now)

Picture: Dornoch Distillery/Facebook

Picture: Dornoch Distillery/Facebook

Following on from their hugely successful whisky bar based in the Dornoch Castle Hotel, brothers Simon and Philip Thompson have decided to push ahead with plans to create their own distillery housed in an old fire station within the grounds of their hotel.

The success of their popular crowd funding campaign has seen the construction of their small distillery run to plan and they were hopeful that they would be producing spirit by now, however a busy summer at the hotel has caused a slight delay and now the team are hoping the liquid (spirit for both whisky and gin) will flow any day now.

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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