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Campbeltown whisky distillery gets go ahead

Glasgow-based whisky bottler and blender Brave New Spirits has received planning approval to build a net-zero single malt distillery in Campbeltown.

Witchburn Distillery in Campbeltown
Witchburn Distillery in Campbeltown has been given the green light to begin construction

Brave New Spirits submitted its planning application to Argyll and Bute Council in May 2023.

The company will build Witchburn Distillery at the former RAF Machrihanish airbase, located between Campbeltown Airport and Machrihanish village.

Adam Hochul, co-founder of Brave New Spirits, said: “We were delighted to receive this news today. Our team is excited to be working with the Campbeltown community in the coming months and years to develop Witchburn Distillery.”

The facility will create unpeated, light peated and heavily peated single malts.

Powered by 100% green renewable energy sources, the site will aim to produce two million litres of alcohol per year, with the ability to double that number in the future.

The site would house a five-tonne mash tun and 16 wash backs, each with a 30,000-litre capacity. It would also include two wash stills, each with a capacity of 16,000 litres, and two spirit stills, which could hold up to 7,000 litres.

Production will be led by master distiller Andrew Nairn, who was the former distillery manager of Glenkinchie, Strathmill and Borders Distillery.

Production at Witchburn Distillery is due to commence in the last quarter of 2024.

Brave New Spirits has also planned what wood it will use, with most of the liquid due to be filled into American Bourbon barrels, oloroso Sherry casks from several bodegas, select tawny and ruby Port barriques, and organic Bordeaux wine barriques.

Casks will be matured in warehouses close to the sea.

The project will create approximately 30 jobs in production, warehousing, and distribution.

Campbeltown is also set to welcome new whisky distilleries from the owner of Scotland’s Isle of Raasay Distillery and Scotch producer Dál Riata.

The whisky region was once home to dozens of distilleries, but only three remain: Glen Scotia, Glengyle and Springbank.

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