New distillery goes for the green

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An Aberdeenshire, Scotland, businessman is entering a very old business in a very new way.

Euan Shand has announced he will construct a US$6.9 million green distillery in Huntley to produce malt and grain whiskies, vodka and gin.

The distillery will be powered by woodchips supplied by local firms who will replace the trees used in the process to give it a carbon neutral rating. It also will also have a "living" grass roof.

The operation, expected to employ about a dozen workers when completed in 2008, will be on a two-acre site formerly occupied by a dairy farm. Shand, who runs Duncan Taylor & Co., bottler and seller of rare whiskies, also plans to have a visitors center, bottling plant and warehouse on the site.

Due for completion in June 2008, the project includes copper pot stills for single malt distillation, as well as a four-column neutral grain plant and a single experimental still. Production will be 750,000 litres of alcohol, making the distillery a similar size to Oban and Springbank.

“The distillery comes at an exciting time for the industry, with India and China opening up,” Shand said in an interview with Drinks International. “Europe is also a dynamic marketplace that is rediscovering Scotch whisky and we want to be at the fore of this renaissance. Duncan Taylor has established routes to market which will facilitate the growth of the new brands.”

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