The application to Argyll and Bute Council has been made by Glasgow-based whisky company Brave New Spirits, producer of the Whisky of Voodoo and Cask Noir ranges of single cask independent bottlings.
The new Witchburn Distillery is proposed to be built on the disused RAF airbase at Machrihanish, making use of empty industrial units at the site. It has been designed by sustainable distilling and engineering specialist Organic Architects, and will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy and make use of cutting-edge heat and energy recovery systems. Italian distilling plant producer Frilli will also be enlisted for the project.
Witchburn plans to produce a range of unpeated, lightly peated and heavily peated spirits, with a maximum capacity of two million litres of alcohol per year. It would operate with one five-ton mash tun, 16 30,000-litre washbacks (to allow for fermentations of 96 hours or more), and two pairs of stills. The majority of spirit would be filled into ex-bourbon barrels, with some oloroso sherry casks and port and Bordeaux wine barriques also in use. Maturation would take place in both on-site and off-site warehousing.
Adam Hochul and Alexander Springensguth, joint owners of Brave New Spirits and Witchburn Distillery, said: "We are looking forward to becoming part of the community, contributing to the already worldwide reputation of Campbeltown whisky. We could not ﬁnd a better location to build our ﬁrst stillhouse. The distillery is a great addition to our existing portfolio of internationally recognised brands of Scotch whisky, but also an opportunity to give back to the outstanding community of Scottish whisky distillers."
Andrew Nairn, Brave New Spirits' founding master distiller, added: "I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with Organic Architects and Frilli to develop a distillery to produce a truly great Campbeltown spirit. To combine traditional artisan methods of whisky making with the latest green technology is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Once home to 30 distilleries and nicknamed Scotland's 'whisky capital' in the 19th century, Campbeltown is now starting to get its taste of the single malt whisky resurgence seen in Scotland's other regions. In 2022, R&B Distillers has announced plans to open the Machrihanish Distillery as Campbeltown's first grain-to-glass whisky maker, with ground set to be broken on the project in this year.