£4M to double production at Speyburn Distillery

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Speyburn Distillery is based at Rothes, near Speyside and makes a range of whiskies, including leading single malt brands
Speyburn Distillery is based at Rothes, near Speyside and makes a range of whiskies, including leading single malt brands

Related tags Scotch whisky Whisky

Scottish drinks business Speyburn Distillery aims to double whisky production in a £4M expansion programme that will also slash its energy use.

The distillery investment would increase annual production capacity from 1.8M litres to more than 4M litres, said the firm, which is based near Rothes in Speyside.

That would allow the business, part of Inver House Distillers, which is owned by International Beverage Holdings, to lay down stock for future growth in established and emerging markets, it said. It forecast brand volume growth of 15% for the 2013–2014 period.

The expansion is the latest in a string of distillery investments announced in the past few months by enterprises such as Diageo, Adnams and Edrington Group.

It entailed redesigning the distillery, eventually cutting its energy consumption per litre of alcohol by more than 20% and improving its carbon footprint, Speyburn claimed.

This would be achieved by using the most up-to-date and energy-efficient distillation equipment, while maintaining traditional production methods, it added.

‘Investment is crucial’

“As we continue to be very optimistic about the long-term potential for Scotch whisky, particularly in the emerging BRIC ​[Brazil, Russia, India & China], African and South East Asian economies, investment in our production capabilities is crucial,” ​said Inver House Distillers’ md Graham Stevenson.

“Having the infrastructure in place to produce our high quality whiskies in greater quantities will be key to the future success of our brands, so we are delighted to see the first phase of this major programme of work get underway at Speyburn Distillery.’

Bobby Anderson, Speyburn distillery manager, added: “This is an exciting time for everyone here at the distillery and we are working with a great team of local companies to deliver the expansion programme, whilst retaining the great traditions and time-honoured techniques involved with crafting our whisky.”

‘Excellent news’

Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead hailed the move as “excellent news not only for the whisky industry, but to the local economy in Speyside”. 

“We know there is great demand for Scotland’s national drink with whisky exports from the UK increasing by 87% over the last 10 years from £2.3bn in 2002 to £4.3bn in 2012, and the expansion of this distillery will play an important role in meeting that global appetite for our premium product.”

Founded in 1897, it produces Speyburn Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, which is already a top 10 malt brand in the US, the biggest Scotch single malt market in the world.

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