The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

New Elixir for Is­lay’s fa­mous wa­ter of life

Tenth whisky dis­tillery planned for Ar­gyll isle


As whisky pro­duc­ers go, it cer­tainly does its bit per square foot.

But de­vel­op­ers have un­veiled their plans for a tenth dis­tillery for Is­lay.

The dis­tillers be­hind the Port Askaig and El­e­ments of Is­lay brands pre­sented their plans to the pub­lic on Wed­nes­day evening.

The new dis­tillery, which has yet to be named, would be sit­u­ated on the south coast of the Hebridean isle, just out­side the vil­lage of Port Ellen. A plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion has still to be lodged. How­ever, Elixir Dis­tillers aim to have con­struc­tion com­menced in early 2019.

Sukhin­der Singh, co­founder of Elixir Dis­tillers, said: “Some of the world’s most amaz­ing drams come from Is­lay. Their unique style com­bined with the spe­cial char­ac­ter of the is­land meant there was never any question that we wouldn’t choose Is­lay to build our dis­tillery.

“As soon as I saw the dis­tillery site I fell in love with it. It’s on the holy grail of whisky roads, pass­ing Laphroaig, La­gavulin and Ard­beg dis­til­leries on the way to Kil­dal­ton Cross – too good to re­sist.”

“As soon as I saw the dis­tillery site I fell in love with it”

If suc­cess­ful in get­ting over the var­i­ous hur­dles, the Elixir Dis­tillery could ex­pect to be­gin dis­till­ing in 2020, around the same time the Port Ellen dis­tillery on Is­lay is ex­pected to ex­port whisky again for the first time since 1983.

Alas­tair Red­man, coun­cil­lor for Kin­tyre and the Is­lands, said: “It is fan­tas­tic news. The more jobs and pros­per­ity we bring to Is­lay the bet­ter.

“Is­lay is fair be­com­ing an in­dus­trial pow­er­house; how­ever, we need the in­fra­struc­ture to match it.

“This won’t be the last suc­cess story for Is­lay as I can see many more big busi­nesses – in­clud­ing more dis­tillers – be­ing drawn to the isle.

“It re­ally is a great time to be an Il­leach.”

It is believed that the art of dis­til­la­tion was brought to Is­lay by Ir­ish monks dur­ing the 14th cen­tury. The end­less sup­ply of peat and pure soft fresh wa­ter from rivers and lochs has con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly to the isle famed for its vast num­ber of dis­til­leries and qual­ity whisky world­wide.

The is­land is famed for its whisky with the dis­tinct aroma and taste of peat en­thralling whisky en­thu­si­asts and novices the world over.

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