Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky arm of Pernod Ricard, has announced plans to build its first distillery on the island of Islay.
The new distillery would be located at Gartbreck Farm, a picturesque site west of Bowmore which faces Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte across Loch Indaal, and would be focused on the production of peated whisky. It would be a carbon-neutral distillery, following Chivas Brothers' goal to be carbon neutral across all its sites by the end of 2026.
The site was first mooted for the development of a whisky distillery almost a decade ago. Jean Donnay, co-founder of the Glann ar Mor whisky distillery in Brittany, and independent Scotch whisky business Hunter Laing were engaged in discussions about opening a distillery at Gartbreck Farm back in 2015, but the plans were eventually dropped due to a land dispute.
Following its purchase of the site at Gartbreck Farm, Chivas Brothers will submit full plans for the distillery to the local planning authority in due course.
Jean-Etienne Gourgues, chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers, said: “This is an important new chapter in the Chivas Brothers story. The introduction of an Islay whisky completes our comprehensive and award-winning Scotch portfolio. As a business built on hundreds of years of heritage, it also gives us the opportunity to do something we rarely do, which is to start from scratch.
“Here on Islay, we can create a blueprint for carbon-neutral distilling and continue to usher in this era of sustainable Scotch. We are committed to Scotch, to the Islay community and the landscape that makes it the perfect place to continue our vision to shape the future of whisky.”