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Chivas Brothers to Open Its First Islay Distillery

Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky group owned by Pernod Ricard and famed producers of Chivas Regal, announced plans to build a carbon-neutral distillery on Islay on Tuesday.

The distillery, which will focus on the production of peated single malts, will be located on Gartbreck Farm, just a few miles southwest of the famed Bowmore Distillery. Chivas Brothers recently acquired the property, and in September, Chivas and Permod Rivard allocated $76 million to build the distillery, simultaneously pledging to be completely carbon-neutral by the end of 2026.

Chivas Brothers is one of the largest distillery owners in Scotland with a total of 14 Scotch whisky distilleries under their umbrella, second to only Diageo. Known for their single malt labels like The Glenlivet, Aberlour, and Scapa, Chivas Brothers is perhaps most famous for their production of Chivas Regal, a blended Scotch whisky that kickstarted the “Chivas Regal Effect.” The construction of the new distillery marks both Chivas Brothers’ and Pernod Ricard’s first venture into Islay Scotch production.

“This is an important new chapter in the Chivas Brother story,” said Chivas Brothers chairman and CEO Jean-Etienne Gourgues in a news release. “The introduction of an Islay whisky completed our comprehensive and award-winning Scotch portfolio. As a business built on hundreds of years of heritage, it also gives us the opportunity to do something we rarely do, which is to start from scratch.”

The historic distilling hub of Islay is world renowned for its production of heavily peated Scotch whiskies. Though there is no information yet regarding when exactly Chivas Brothers plans on opening their doors, the distillery is expected to be the 13th on the island. 10 distilleries are currently operational there, with this year’s scheduled reopening of the Port Ellen Distillery serving as the 11th and the planned opening of Laggan Bay, a venture led by Ian MaxLeod, predicted to be the 12th.

Gartbreck Farm had previously been purchased in 2014 by French distiller Jean Donnay of Glann ar Mor distillery, with the express intention of transforming the farm into a distilling operation. But after receiving investment support from independent Scotch whisky bottler Hunter Laing, a fraught partnership between the two companies caused the plan to collapse. Laing left the project to develop a fellow Islay distillery, Ardnahoe, leaving the Gartbreck Farm to sit untouched — until now.

“Here on Islay, we can create a blueprint for carbon-neutral distilling and continue to usher in this era of sustainable Scotch,” Gourgues says in the release. “We are committed to Scotch, to the Ialsy community, and the landscape that makes it the perfect place to continue our vision to shape the future of whisky.”

The article Chivas Brothers to Open Its First Islay Distillery appeared first on VinePair.

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