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Gordon & MacPhail owner plans Cairngorms distillery

The parent company of Gordon & MacPhail and Benromach Distillery has announced plans to build a new malt Scotch whisky distillery in the Cairngorms National Park.

Ewen Mackintosh: “Constructing a second distillery will enable us to continue creating a sustainable long term legacy for future generations.”

Speymalt Whisky Distributors hopes the new site, based at Craggan, near the town of Grantown-on-Spey in the Scottish Highlands, will become a “major tourist attraction”.

If plans are approved, the new multi-million-pound site will become the first new distillery based in the Cairngorms National Park since its creation in 2003.

Speymalt will start the consultation process with the local community before submitting a planning application later this year. If approved, construction work is expected to start in 2019 and take 12 months to complete.

Earlier this year, Speymalt managing director Ewen Mackintosh told The Spirits Business that the company would consider opening a second distillery.

“Owning a distillery allows you to control a brand from start to finish,” he said at the time. “You can really put your fingerprint on it – that’s what we’ve taken away from Benromach.”

The name of the distillery has not yet been decided. A public exhibition on the plans will take place over the summer.

“Building a second distillery is an important part of our business plan and we have spent some time researching a suitable site,” said Mackintosh. “We believe we have found the perfect place for our new distillery at Craggan. It’s a stunning location with strong transport links and can accommodate the distillery, warehousing and a visitor experience.

“The Cairngorms are a beautiful part of the world and we aim to design a distillery which will be in keeping with this wonderful landscape.

“We continue to build our business using our expertise and skill in the industry. The purchase of Benromach Distillery and the growth of this brand internationally over the past 20 years has proved to be a huge success. Constructing a second distillery will enable us to continue creating a sustainable long-term legacy for future generations.”

Earlier this year, Gordon & MacPhail unveiled an extensive overhaul of its independently bottled Scotch whisky range.

The move reduced the collection from 14 lines to five, and was part of a broader strategy to increase distinction between parent company Speymalt, Gordon & MacPhail and Benromach.

In January, Benromach unveiled plans to expand its warehousing facilities following a 27% increase in sales.

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