Chivas invests bumper £88 million into two Speyside distilleries to meet global whiskey demand

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The firm, part of the French spirits group Pernod Ricard, said the major investment will go into upgrading sustainable distillation technologies at the Aberlour and Miltonduff distilleries on Speyside.

The distillery expansions will grow Chivas Brothers’ total production by 14 million liters of alcohol per annum.

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Bosses said the investment was further confirmation of the firm’s’ commitment to Scotland and a testament to the growing global demand for Scotch whiskey which has seen exports increase across all regions, with market gains in Latin America, Middle East, Africa and Asia.

The distillery expansions will also serve to accelerate the company’s goal of reaching carbon neutral distillation by 2026 with the installation of new bio plants and high-efficiency fan technology for pot still distillation across both sites.

Jean-Etienne Gourgues, chairman and chief executive of Chivas Brothers, said: “Scotch has demonstrated its resilience as a category over the past few challenging years and in the process has opened new avenues for growth.

“This expansion will allow us to increase our volume to capitalize on the increased demand and interest in Scotch, but also supports our drive to reduce emissions in line with our sustainability ambitions. We’re once again betting big on the future of Scotch so we can bring in new consumers to the category and continue to shape a sustainable future of whisky.”

The Aberlour distillery, which has been producing whiskey since 1879, will see its production capacity double to 7.8 million liters of alcohol per annum.

The Aberlour distillery, which has been producing whiskey since 1879, will see its production capacity double to 7.8 million liters of alcohol per annum. The distillery will also undergo a significant facelift with an upgraded visitor center.

The distillery will also undergo a significant facelift with an upgraded visitor center. A new still house will be equipped with large windows providing visitors with views into the nearby woods and the River Spey – the water source for the spirit.

Miltonduff’s expansion will consist of a new state-of-the-art sustainable distillery built next to the existing facility. Miltonduff single malt is one of the foundations of Ballantine’s blends and is a key component of other blended whiskeys in the Chivas portfolio.

Both sites are expected to be operating at full production capacity by mid-2025.

Secretary of state for international trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, said: “Scotch whiskey is a UK exporting success story and this excellent news will see some of the best products made in Scotland, sold to the world – supporting jobs and economic growth and helping us to level up the country.”

Earlier this week, Pernod Ricard toasted a 20 per cent hike in sales but warned of tougher conditions ahead.

The group, whose brands include Mumm champagne, Absolut vodka and Martell cognac, said strong demand in its key US, Chinese and European markets drove the jump in its third-quarter organic sales, easily beating analysts’ forecasts.

However, the firm expects cooler sales in the fourth quarter of its financial year due to fresh Covid disruptions and lockdowns in China, gradual normalization in US business and the Ukraine conflict.

Pernod reported sales of just under €2.45 ​​billion (£2.05bn) in the three months to the end of March, its third quarter.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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