Milestone for Scotland's greenest distillery as Ardnamurchan celebrates its first whisky

A whisky distillery that has been described as Scotland's greenest is celebrating today (1st August) as the first of its maturing spirit officially becomes whisky.

Published 1st Aug 2017
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Ardnamurchan distillery, which is located in Glenbeg on the west coast, made the announcement exactly three years after it laid down the first cask of its exciting new spirit.

Opened in July 2014 by independent bottler Adelphi, the distillery says it has already received rave reviews for the spirit it has produced, meaning there is already "strong mounting expectations for its whisky".

The Ardnamurchan Spirit 2016 AD was sold out four times over and only a few months on from its release, prices at auction have already been reaching well above the original retail price. The bottle itself, has also won awards on a national level, coming first place in the Packaging and Design category at the Scottish Design Awards in May this year.


Picture: Ardnamurchan distillery

Whisky lovers could be disappointed should they be hoping to try Ardnamurchan whisky any time soon, parent company Adelphi has stated that it won’t be releasing its whisky until its aged a minimum of seven years, meaning a release date of 2021.

With strict regulations governing Scotland's national drink stipulating that spirit has to mature in oak casks for a minimum of three years in Scotland before it can be called Scotch whisky, today marks an important milestone for the new distillery.

One that Alex Bruce, managing director of Adelphi and The Ardnamurchan Distillery, deems to be hugely important, he said: "We have been overwhelmed by the support for the distillery from all over the world, and this is a testament to the great team we have working with us, and their absolute attention to quality.

"The 500 litre ex-Sherry butt no. 1, filled on the 1st August 2014, is now surrounded by a full warehouse of sister casks, all enjoying the superb west coast maturation climate.”

Ardnamurchan Distillery

Picture: Ardnamurchan Distillery

Part of the current boom for new distilleries, and in particular, those being opened by some of the country's most successful independent bottling businesses, Ardnamurchan has been lauded for its commitment to the environment and the emphasis on provenance and traceability of its spirit.

The west coast production site is one of the first to be wholly reliant on local renewable energy, using woodchip for heat and hydro-generated electricity.

The distillery is already helping to boost the local area with the Adelphi team saying that visitors are already praising the visitor centre and its tours.

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There has also been an increase in footfall for the area, as visitor numbers, already up 20 per cent on last year, get set to increase with the upcoming release of the Distillery’s 2nd bottling of mature spirit expected to hit shelves in September.

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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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