Chivas Brothers today revealed a new £10 million expansion at The Glenlivet Distillery in Speyside, supporting its long term ambition to become the World’s No 1 single malt and guaranteeing supply for the future.

The distillery extension, which houses a new mash tun, eight traditional oregon pine washbacks and six expertly crafted copper stills, represents a 75% increase in production capacity allowing the brand to capitalise on buoyant international markets.


Earlier this year, the Scotch Whisky Association reported that an impressive performance in the second half of 2009 had contributed to record-breaking levels of global exports for Scotch whisky at the end of 2009. Exports have risen by £977 million in shipment value over the last ten years, representing a 45% increase.*

Christian Porta, Chivas Brothers Chairman and CEO, reiterated the importance of this investment to the future success of The Glenlivet: “Today’s opening represents the latest milestone in a period of sustained investment and strong growth in The Glenlivet. Since 2002, we have taken the brand from No 3 to No 2 globally with investment in packaging, marketing and new product development.


“The stunning new extension not only gives us the production potential to meet the buoyant demands of global markets and, one day take the No 1 spot, it is also a sympathetic and aesthetically enduring legacy for generations to come to admire.

“We are already leading from the front in the US, the world’s most valuable Scotch whisky market and No1 single malt market, and we are now well-positioned to replicate this success internationally.”

The investment has already brought real benefits to the local business community with a team of local contractors involved in the expansion. Overall design was by architects LDN of Forres whilst the principle contractor was A.D. Walker of Banff. Subcontractors included Simmers of Keith who built the steel structure, specialist vat builders Joseph Brown of Dufftown who installed 8 new traditional wooden washbacks, and coppersmiths Forsyths of Rothes who built 6 new stills exactly replicating the distillery’s famous tall, wide still shape.

The new building was designed to sit sympathetically alongside other Grade II* listed distillery buildings whilst also delivering a first class modern production facility that incorporates the latest heat recovery technology to aid efficiency. The open plan design will also enhance the distillery’s visitor experience which already holds 5 stars from the Scottish Tourist Board. The distillery’s 45,000 annual visitors will be able to see most of the production process in one building and also connect with the surrounding landscape via the expansive use of glass in the building.

This year’s opening coincides with the recent appointment of new Master Distiller Alan Winchester, a lifelong resident of Speyside who has been a leading light in the industry for 34 years.

Alan commented: “Scotch whisky is the beating heart of Speyside and The Glenlivet has been at the heart of the industry since 1824. This is an historic occasion that leaves a profound legacy for tomorrow’s distillers and future guardians of this Scotch whisky legend. It has been a privilege to be involved.”

To celebrate the opening, a specially created bottling, The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, will be released in a limited quantity of 1824 bottles to reflect the year of the distillery’s foundation. Selected from some of The Glenlivet’s most precious casks, the exceptional 21 year old non-chill filtered Scotch whisky will be available from the The Glenlivet Visitor Centre while stocks last.

*HM Revenue and Customs data


Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard – the world’s co-leader in wine and spirits. Chivas Brothers is the global leader in luxury Scotch whisky and premium gin. Its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth Gin, Longmorn, Scapa, 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport.

The Glenlivet is ‘the single malt that started it all’. It was the first licensed distillery in the remote Livet Valley. Created by George Smith, The Glenlivet in turn defined the Speyside style of whisky which became the heartland of Scotch malt whisky production.

From its pioneering Scottish roots, The Glenlivet was the first malt to be promoted in the US, as soon as Prohibition was lifted. Today, it is the USA’s No 1 single malt and the world’s No 2, and one of only two malts ever to sell more than 600,000 nine litre cases per year.

The new stills installed in The Glenlivet are traditionally hand-built in copper and have been fitted with advanced heat-recovery technology (used to pre-heat liquids elsewhere in the distillery) thus reducing overall energy use. The Glenlivet’s tradition of wooden washbacks (fermenters) was maintained, assembled on-site by hand. By-products of the distilling process (spent draff, grain and pot ale) will be recycled in the form of animal feed for the local farming community.


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