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Elixir Distillers gets planning approval for Islay site

Spirits firm Elixir Distillers has gained planning approval to build a new Scotch whisky distillery on Islay, which is expected to break ground this year.

Elixir Distillers' Islay distillery
The Islay site will combine the ‘best elements of tradition and modernity’ across design and production

Co-founded by Sukhinder Singh of retailer The Whisky Exchange, Elixir Distillers originally submitted a planning application to Argyll and Bute Council in November 2018, which gained approval the following month.

However, in February 2020, Elixir Distillers submitted an altered planning application for the site, which featured an exterior that maintains the traditional look of the other south coast distilleries, along with ‘modern touches’ that reflect the site’s individual landscape.

“The news that our planning application has been accepted is fantastic,” said Singh. “We’ve worked closely with the Argyll and Bute planning committee to create plans for a distillery that fits into the landscape and supports the community.

“We want to create whiskies that inspire both the people of Islay and Islay whisky fans worldwide, enhancing the already glowing reputation of Islay whiskies, while also becoming an integral part of the community.”

The new site, which will be located outside the town of Port Ellen, will include a visitor centre, an educational facility and housing. The name of the distillery will be revealed at a later date.

Elixir Distillers plans to create an apprentice programme to train the next generation of distillers. The producer hopes to work with the Islay community and the Scotch whisky industry to create initiatives to support the environment and local people.

Oliver Chilton, head blender at Elixir Distillers, added: “We take great pride in being able to learn, as whisky enthusiasts and use that knowledge as a guide to find and bottle great whisky including our independent bottlings brands Port Askaig and Elements of Islay.

“Having our own distillery will be a fantastic opportunity to apply the same methodology and passion for flavour in a drive to make truly great spirit to enhance the incredible reputation that Islay single malt already has.”

The site will combine the ‘best elements of tradition and modernity’ across design and production. The facility will include floor maltings capable of supplying more than 50% of the full one million litre annual capacity of the distillery.

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