£6m investment in Oldmeldrum distillery

Glen Garioch whisky distillery in Oldmeldrum is set to benefit from a £6million investment which will see the site return to more traditional distilling and malting methods.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 6:47 am
Updated Thursday, 25th March 2021, 6:52 am
The planned investment will see the Oldmeldrum-based distillery revert to more traditional production processes.

Glen Garioch owner Bean Suntory announced the planned investment which will see the distillery revert to more traditional production processes and introduce new cutting-edge technology for direct-fired distillation – measures which will help to reduce the distillery’s carbon footprint by as much as 15 per cent.

Glen Garioch has been making its Single Malt Scotch Whisky since 1797 and is one of the oldest operating distilleries in Scotland.

Work began on the restoration and upgrading of the distillery in 2020.

Various milestones will be reached over the course of 2021 including the reintroduction of floor maltings as well as the installation of direct-fired heating to the wash still – traditional methods which are only used by a handful of distilleries.

The first spirit produced using the revised process will come off the stills later in 2021.

Kwanele Mdluli, distillery manager at Beam Suntory, said: “We are proud to make this investment in Glen Garioch’s historic distillery, and we’re excited about the future.

“Although these traditional distilling and malting methods are rare in today’s industry, our teams have deep expertise and passion for these methods, and we’re all looking forward to bringing them back to our distillery.”

Local SNP MP Richard Thomson has welcomed the announcement from the distillery which is in his Gordon Parliamentary constituency.

Mr Thomson said: “This is a significant investment and will bring a very welcome boost for the Glen Garioch distillery.

"The combination of reintroducing some rarely-used traditional production methods alongside the associated environmental benefits will help to further reinforce Glen Garioch’s reputation as one of Scotland’s finest Single Malts. I look forward to being able to visit the distillery to see the new methods in action as soon as it is again possible to do so.”

Construction began in 2020 and various stages are expected to be completed over the course of 2021.