In an earlier post Armin and I wrote about the possibility of a ninth Whisky Distillery on Islay which would be started in the former Lochindaal Distillery in Port Charlotte, which is one of many Lost Distilleries on Islay.
Bruichladdich Distillery has now officially announced its plans to create the new distillery at Port Charlotte. The distillery will be built, subject to planning permission, on the site of the Lochindaal Distillery that ceased production in 1929. The new name will be Port Charlotte Distillery, one of the original names of the 1829 enterprise. The Distillery was also known as Rhinns Distillery and Lochindaal Distillery.
Mark Reynier, Bruichladdich CEO says: 'It’s a logical expansion for us. We have a wide distilling repertoire through three peating levels and technique, four barley varieties and eleven origins.
'This exciting development will allow us to further diversify our distilling talents and add capacity.
'A small private player such as ourselves has to be different in this industry. Premium distilling by artisans, innovation and variety are key issues for us.'
Much of the major plant and equipment for the new Port Charlotte distillery was ‘acquired’ by Bruichladdich as early as 2003.
'It was Jim McEwans’s idea.' says Reynier. 'Dumbarton’s Inverleven Distillery was to be demolished, so Jim said: 'Why not bring it to Islay?'
'Duncan McGillivray put a team of ten men together and dismantled the entire distillery plant bolt by bolt and shipped it to Islay on a barge. It has been in storage ever since, although we have used some bits for spares.
'We hope to build Port Charlotte as an entirely green distillery with a zero carbon footprint. We will be using all the latest environmentally sustainable concepts and it will be quite an engineering challenge to see if it really is possible.'
A second planning application will be made shortly for a new building on the Clynes Garage site that will contain shop, offices and a tasting/ceilidh room. The site will be appropriately landscaped.
Bruichladdich expect to cut the 'First Turf' for the new distillery during their Feis Ile Open Day on Sunday 27th May.
Image courtesy of Bruichladdich Distillery