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Firm behind Benromach announce plans for new single malt distillery at Craggan

The firm behind the successful Benromach Distillery in Speyside has announced plans to build a new single malt distillery at Craggan, near Grantown-on-Spey.

Published: May 30, 2018
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Speymalt Whisky Distributors, which is also the parent company of Elgin-based whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail, said the new distillery will be located near the River Spey and the first to be built in the Cairngorms National Park since its creation in 2003.

The fourth‑generation family owned business said the multi-million pound investment was designed to create a major tourist attraction for the area and become a “significant” local employer.

The new distilling site, as yet un-named, will overlook the Cairngorm mountains in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. The news comes as Speymalt celebrates a landmark year for Benromach, the distillery based in the outskirts of the ancient market town of Forres, which the Elgin-based firm revived in the 1990s.

Originally opened in 1898, the Speyside distillery was mothballed in 1983 before being bought by Speymalt in 1993.

After being extensively re-equipped over a five-year period, it was officially re-opened by Prince Charles in 1998.

• READ MORE: Pulling back the curtain on the magic of whisky making with Benromach distillery

Ewen Mackintosh, managing director of Speymalt Whisky Distributors, said building a second distillery was an “important part” of the firm’s business plan. He added: “We have spent some time researching a suitable site and we believe we have found the perfect place for our new distillery at Craggan. It’s a stunning location with strong transport links and can accommodate the distillery, warehousing and a visitor experience.

“The Cairngorms are a beautiful part of the world and we aim to design a distillery which will be in keeping with this wonderful landscape.

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“We continue to build our business using our expertise and skill in the industry. The purchase of Benromach Distillery and the growth of this brand internationally over the past 20 years has proved to be a huge success.

“Constructing a second distillery will enable us to continue creating a sustainable long-term legacy for future generations.”

The company now hopes to consult the local community before submitting a planning application later in the year. It said that if planning permission is given, construction is expected to start in 2019 and should take 12 months to complete. A public exhibition on the plans will take place over the summer.

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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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