Expansion plans for Glenkinchie Distillery tabled

Neighbours with a nose for a good nip have been given a sneak peak of new plans which could transform the visitor experience at Glenkinchie Distillery.

Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 10:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 10:20 am
Plans have been tabled to expand the 
Glenkinchie Distillery near Pentcaitland
Plans have been tabled to expand the Glenkinchie Distillery near Pentcaitland

The facility, near Pencaitland in East Lothian, is famous for producing whisky known as the Edinburgh Malt.

Distillery owners Diageo hope that proposals to enhance areas of the visitor centre including a new bar and event area, a contemporary welcome lounge, an improved tasting room as well as increased parking, and a new landscaped outdoor area, will be given the green light by councillors.

If approved, construction could begin early next year.

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Local residents and stakeholders were invited to view the plans in a special event arranged to allow them a first glimpse of the proposed changes.

Glenkinchie Distillery manager Ramsay Borthwick, said: “Glenkinchie is a classic lowland distillery that has been at the heart of the community and the county of East Lothian since it was founded in 1825

“As we develop these exciting plans for the future we want to engage our neighbours as much as possible.

“It was great to have so many local residents and community representatives taking an interest in our plans and we will continue to update them as we progress our plans.”

This latest announcement follows plans released by the company in April to invest £150 million in the Scottish whisky tourism sector, building on the success of the previous year.

In 2017, the number of tourists visiting Diageo’s 12 distillery visitor centres across Scotland reached a record high of 440,260 – an increase of 15.2 per cent on the year before.

Part of the £150m investment will involve creating an immersive Johnnie Walker visitor experience in Edinburgh.

But distillery bosses also want to show whisky lovers some of the other locations which go into creating the Johnnie Walker blend and encourage visitors to explore the regions and different distilleries which play a part in the final product.

Whiskies from all over Scotland go into making the popular brand, but four distilleries – Glenkinchie, Cardhu, Caol Ila and Clynelish – will be linked directly to the Johnnie Walker venue in Edinburgh, representing the “four corners of Scotland” and the regional flavour variations crucial to the art of whisky blending.

Glenkinchie is a key part of the Johnnie Walker blending portfolio, providing the light, floral, classic lowland style of single malt Scotch whisky that goes into Johnnie Walker blends.

The distillery has a long history of association with Johnnie Walker, with stock books from 1894 listing Glenkinchie among the single malts going into the Walker blending inventory.

The planning application is expected to be submitted to East Lothian Council around the end of September and, subject to successful planning permission, work should commence early in 2019 with planned completion in 2020.