Gartbreck Distillery will be built in 2014 – Future Scotch Whisky News

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Gartbreck Distillery will be built in 2014 

Ernie- Ernst J. Scheiner, The Gateway to Distilleries at  

Martine and Jean Donnay are the people behind the distillery project. They run Glann Ar Mor Distillery in Brittany. 

Planning permission was granted to them by the Argyll and Bute Council on Friday 24th, January 2014 to demolish and rebuild Gartbreck in order to build a new gin– and whisky distillery. (Correction – Gartbreck is very much a “whisky distillery” rather than a “gin and whisky distillery”. There will actually be some gin or another white spirit being produced on site which will represent a useful complement during the first years of operation when no whisky will be available. Yet, the relevant volume will be very limited and aimed at being sold locally at the distillery’s visitor centre. This activity will be very marginal in the running of the distillery).

Plans are public, please see HERE:  

Construction of the distillery will start in May 2014 and distilling is planned to start in autumn 2015. 

The new craft distillery on a farm at magic Saltpan Point will certainly revive Scotland’s heritage of farm distilleries and will be a tourist hot spot of the whisky enthusiasts around the world. 

Everybody will admire the still house with a large window facing Loch Indaal as they do when visiting Jean Donnay’s beautiful Glann Ar Mor Distillery in Brittanny. The stillroom with its wide window makes for a rather special charming atmosphere and symbolizes a very close relation to nature and the sea. 

See for more details and particular Gartbreck plans HERE:  

According to the planning application, there will be a malt barn with floor maltings and a kiln with a drying floor, a still house with a pair of pot stills for malt distillation with exterior worm tubs and a still room for gin production, a malt store, six washbacks, filling and bottling room, warehouse, offices and a visitor centre. 

The pot stills will be fire heated and be the only ones oft hat type on the island. According to Jean Donnay the distillery will produce 100% peated single malt. About 20% of the malt required will be malted on their own malting floor and dried in their kiln on site. The whisky distilled will be made by using 20% Barley from Islay and the rest from mainland Scotland. In ist first year they intend to produce about 60,000 LPA. There will be a small dunnage warehouse on site. Gartbreck whisky will primarily mature in Boubon casks but some will also mature in Sherry casks. 

Gin will also be distilled on site. 

There are rumours that the former longtime Distillery Manager of Caol Ila, Billy Stitchell, (this has been proved to be incorrect – Billy Stitchell will not be working with or at Gartbreck Distillery – the distillery will be managed by Jean Donnay) will be involved in setting up Gartbreck Distillery and be overlooking its production.

The hardworking innovative French couple Martine and Jean Donnay will certainly increase the diversity and quality of Islay whiskies from 2018 onwards. 

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Glan Ar Mor Distillery

Gartbrecks‘ people:

The Gateway to Distilleries

Photos Courtesy of Alex Reid 2013.

About the Author: Ernie – Ernst J. Scheiner M.A. was a director in an adult education centre. Ernie offers courses on whisky distilling, writes for newspapers, magazines and blogs such as He is the editor of The Gateway to Distilleries at which gives an excellent photographic and educational insight into the whisky industry of Scotland, Ireland, Europe and Asia.

Please see also:

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