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Royal approval for distillery expansion

09 June 2010

A £10 MILLION extension to one of the world’s most famous distilleries has been given the royal seal of approval.

Prince Charles visited The Glenlivet Distillery on June 4 to officially open the building containing six new stills.

Patrick Ricard, boss of brand owners Pernod Ricard, and Christian Porta, chairman and chief executive of Chivas Brothers, guided the prince – officially known as the Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland – on a tour of the distillery’s facilities, where he met members of staff and unveiled a commemorative sculpture.

The expansion is part of The Glenlivet’s long-term ambition to become the world’s best-selling single malt whisky and will meet the future demand from growing markets in the Far East.

The distillery extension, which houses a new mash tun, eight traditional Oregon pine washbacks and six expertly-crafted copper stills, allows for a 75 per cent increase in production capacity.

Earlier this year, the Scotch Whisky Association reported that an impressive performance in the second half of 2009 had contributed to record-breaking levels of global exports for Scotch whisky by the end of the year.

Exports have risen by £977 million in shipment value over the past 10 years, representing a 45 per cent increase.

Mr Porta reiterated the importance of this investment to the future success of The Glenlivet.

He said: “Today’s opening represents the latest milestone in a period of sustained investment and strong growth in The Glenlivet.

“Since 2002, we have taken the brand from number three to number two globally with investment in packaging, marketing and new product development.

“The stunning new extension not only gives us the production potential to meet the buoyant demands of global markets and, one day, take the number one spot – it is also a sympathetic and aesthetically enduring legacy for generations to come to admire.

“We are already leading from the front in the US, the world’s most valuable Scotch whisky market and number one single malt market, and we are now well positioned to replicate this success internationally.”

The opening followed the recent appointment of new master distiller Alan Winchester, a lifelong resident of Speyside who has been a leading light in the industry for 34 years.

Mr Winchester described the opening as a momentous occasion in the long and proud history of The Glenlivet Distillery

“It was a privilege to be involved with the new building and we were honoured to have had such distinguished company to mark the occasion,” he said.

“Scotch whisky is the beating heart of Speyside and The Glenlivet has been at the heart of the industry since 1824.

“This is a historic occasion that leaves a profound legacy for tomorrow’s distillers and future guardians of this Scotch whisky legend. It has been a privilege to be involved.”

(Strathspey and Badenoch Herald)

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