Distell Group, the South African spirit and wine producer has announced plans to invest in Tobermory Distillery and its visitor centre on the Isle of Mull.
To carry out the proposed upgrade works, the distillery will stop production on March 31, 2017 for up to 24 months. However, the visitor centre will remain open and continue to receive guests and host tours throughout this period.
The distillery operates two production cycles during the year to produce Tobermory and Ledaig malts. These are both well-known and respected brands in the international whisky arena and Distell intends to invest further in their future as premium malts following the upgrade.
During the refurbishment programme, although the distillery will not be in active production, the roles of the Tobermory team will be protected as far as possible.
Sales of Ledaig 10 Years Old and 18 Years Old will continue, with Tobermory 10 Years Old being available to purchase from the visitor centre. A range of limited editions from both brands will be released over the next two years.
Commenting on the plans for Tobermory, Distell’s European managing director, Fraser Thornton says: “Whisky tourism continues to thrive with numbers across the industry increasing on average by 20% over the past five years. Tobermory has demonstrated even stronger growth in visitors and we want to invest in the only distillery on the island and continue to ensure it produces some of the best island malts in Scotland, as well as a truly memorable experience for visitors.
“We recognise the time during which the refurbishment is taking place will create substantial change for the distillery team and that is why we have come up with different options to accommodate people’s personal situations and continue to financially support them during this time. We are delighted to have a new general manager for malts joining us in the coming weeks who will provide some fresh impetus for our malt portfolio generally and Tobermory and Ledaig specifically. An exciting new chapter will be revealed at the end of this and we want everyone to continue to be part of this journey.”
8 February 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, editorial assistant