In news that delighted whisky fans around the world, Brora is set to reopen later this year after Diageo’s £30 million renovation was approved in 2017. Diageo is also refurbishing and reopening Port Ellen, which was closed in 1983, the same year that Brora closed its doors.
Many of Brora’s original buildings will remain on the site, with the addition of a new still house to house Brora’s two stills. These stills are the two that sat in the distillery at the time of its closure. They have been sent to Alloa to be refurbished so that they may be reused in the distillery’s revival. It is lucky that the stills are in a good enough position to be refurbished for reuse.
The use of these stills is due to the fact that Brora aims to distil the same style of whisky that was produced at the distillery prior to its closure. Detailed records kept by Diageo in its distilling days will help the distillers of today to reproduce the famed whisky.
The transportation of the stills for refurbishment marked a huge milestone in the revival of the distillery.
Brora was meant to be fully-functioning by Summer 2020, but Covid-19 related delays mean that the site should now be up and running some time in 2021. Let us hope that it is worth the wait!
A Brief History of Brora
Brora was officially opened in 1969, comprising the old buildings from the original Clynelish distillery. In 1968, a second distillery was built alongside the old Clynelish to keep up with demand. However, in 1969 the old distillery was renamed Brora, and the new distillery continued on as Clynelish.
Since Brora’s closure in 1983, the whisky has become more and more popular, and also more expensive due to its cult status. The production of Brora whisky once more will be a welcome addition to the Highland region, allowing people who cannot currently afford the price tag that Brora bottlings demand to try a dram of the cult whisky.
You can read our detailed history on Brora and its sister distillery, Clynelish, here.