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Silent Brora distillery secures planning permission

Plans to restart production at the silent Brora distillery have taken a step forward after planning approval was granted to restore its original buildings.

An artist’s impression of the Brora distillery

In October last year, Diageo announced plans to invest £35 million (US$46m) to restart production at closed distilleries Port Ellen and Brora by 2020.

Both distilleries were mothballed in 1983 and have since gained cult status among malts fans.

Work on Brora will begin with the restoration of its existing buildings, which date back to 1819.

The distillery’s still house will be demolished and rebuilt stone by stone to “retain its original character”.

Port Ellen, based on Islay, and Brora, based on the eastern coast of Sutherland, will be “reinstated to distil in carefully controlled quantities”.

Both sites will have a capacity of 800,000 litres a year – making them two of Diageo’s smallest distilleries.

Stewart Bowman, Brora distillery project implementation manager, said: “This is a key milestone in our journey to bring Brora distillery back into production.

“Everyone involved is raring to get going with the work to restore the beautiful distillery buildings so they can once more produce the spirit that Brora is famous for.

“We will now begin the painstaking work of bringing down and reconstructing the still house with care and attention to detail so that every stone is perfect.”

Both Port Ellen and Brora were left out of Diageo’s 2018 Special Releases range for the first time since the collection’s launch in 2001.

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