In recent news the Highland Council of Scotland has granted permission for a Scotch whisky distillery to be built at Dunrobin Castle in Sutherland.
The new distillery will be producing a single malt whisky and two types of gin, and most of the ingredients will be locally sourced. The gin botanicals will be grown in the castle gardens, some of the barley will be taken from the estate’s farms, and the water will come from the Cagar Foesaig mountain, also located on the estate.
The distillery will be built within the castle’s former powerhouse and some areas will be transformed into warehouses.
The distillery will be brought to life by Boban Costin and Elizabeth Sutherland, who is now head of the Sutherland clan, and knowledge and guidance will be provided by Douglas Cruickshank, the former Chivas Brothers director.
The Sutherland family built the original Clynelish distillery, which was later sold and renamed Brora. However, Costin states that the whisky produced by the Dunrobin Highland distillery will differ greatly from the whisky made by his wife’s ancestors.
‘Dunrobin will not be anything like Clynelish,’ said Costin. ‘We’re not sure what style of whisky we’ll create yet, but it will be something that my wife and I enjoy drinking, sherried and unpeated, a bit like Glenfarclas or GlenDronach.’
While the couple do not have a background in the whisky industry, they are both passionate and eager to make this new project a success. They plan to create wonderful products, while boosting the local community and keeping tradition and history at the forefront. Tourism is also a concern, and the dynamic couple aim to bring life and travellers to Sutherland.
‘Our goals for the distillery are very ambitious but our family motto is Sans Peur (without fear), and we are approaching this project in that manner,’ said Sutherland. ‘With respect for my family and the local community’s rich history and tradition, we aim to produce a premium craft, single-estate single malt whisky and gin in the Highland way.’
The distillery is expected to be operational by June 2018, so keep an eye out for some exciting new spirits made on Scottish grounds.