Popular Islay distillery to be ‘transformed’ by £10.5m investment programme

A much-loved Islay whisky distillery is to receive a “refresh” as part of a new £10.5m investment programme by its spirits and wine producing owners.

Published 27th Feb 2019
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

The three-year refurbishment programme by Distell International will see Bunnahabhain Distillery receive an extensive upgrade with a number of the original buildings being carefully restored to their former glory giving them a new lease of life.

Other buildings will be removed and relocated to create more space allowing for “better operational flow across the site” and to “enhance the experience” for visitors to the distillery.

Located in the most northerly point of the island, Bunnahabhain has experienced many changes over the years, and the new project will see the creation of a new ‘brand home’ and visitor centre, which will feature a café and retail space and will be positioned along the shoreline with “stunning views overlooking Bunnahabhain Bay and the Sound of Islay”.

Derek Scott, Brand Director for Malts at Distell International, said: “Our investment programme, here at Bunnahabhain, is about improving the operational side of our distillery for the long term future.

“We are restoring our buildings to their former glory and providing a visitor experience where we don’t just welcome visitors, after the long winding journey to get here, we help them enjoy a piece of Bunnahabhain life.

“The plans aim to make the navigation of the site much easier for the visitor and to, in simple terms, declutter it.

“Furthermore, we are committed to reducing the environmental impact of the works. The whisky industry is starting to be more environmentally aware and our achievement of recycling over 99 per cent of materials shows, with a little bit of extra effort, it is remarkable what we can achieve.

“Bunnahabhain has a special place in Islay’s whisky heritage and we are committed to retaining this by turning Bunnahabhain Bay into a world-class whisky destination of choice.

“As the most remote and northerly distillery on the island, our transformation will give those who have made the journey time to pause, forget about the rest of the world and enjoy the serene surroundings.”

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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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