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SMWS opens £2.5m bottling facility

Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) owner Artisanal Spirits Company has launched its first multi-purpose supply chain facility in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.

SMWS bottling
The bottling facility opening marks a “real step change” in SMWS’s supply chain performance

The £2.5 million (US$3.06m) state-of-the-art Masterton Bond bottling plant at Uddingston was declared officially open by Andrew Dane, Artisanal Spirits CEO, and chairman Mark Hunter.

Dane commented:It seems poignant that, as we celebrate 40 years of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, we look ahead to an exciting new era of providing more whisky than ever before to our membership worldwide.

“Masterton Bond is in line with our long-term business plan, utilising funds raised from our IPO in 2021, to evolve our cask storage and bottling requirements.

“This excellent new facility reduces our dependence on third-party bottlers for production, storage, fulfilment and distribution – our sincere thanks to all our third-party suppliers who have worked with us and helped us to get to this point.

“This improvement to our capacity for bottling marks a real milestone for our supply chain efficiency and performance.  We are forecasting an improvement to margin as well as a higher volume of bottle production.”

“Furthermore, Masterton Bond is already substantially reducing road miles involved in the manufacture and supply of the group’s products, helping us lower our carbon footprint and tread more lightly on the planet.”

The company signed a 10-year lease on the facility in October 2021.

Masterton Bond was completed on time and on budget, and has been fully operational since November 2022, with approximately 20,000 bottles produced prior to the year end.

The facility employs 14 full-time employees on site and is operational from 8am to 5pm local time, Monday to Friday.

Gary McGrath, operations manager at Masterton Bond, said: “This is an important day to us all and the team involved in getting the facility ready. Our testing and optimisation of our production in the run up to opening today has been successful.

“To date, we have already bottled more than 70,000 bottles on the line and we will soon be making shipments to all our key markets internationally including China, the United States, Australia, Germany, France and Japan, from here in Uddingston.

“For four decades, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society has specialised in limited edition, single cask whisky for its members around the world.  This year the SMWS, which is now in more than 30 countries worldwide, will release several special bottlings to celebrate its 40th anniversary, alongside various commemorative events and collaborations.

“Among the SMWS’s 40th anniversary activities over the coming months are innovative creations such as a chilli-tinged spirit, collaborations with a ‘thrill engineer’ and a top-secret world record attempt. The SMWS will also launch a new podcast series featuring maverick and game-changing characters from around the world.”

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