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Go behind the doors of Scotland’s newest whisky distilleries in 2017

Whisky distilleries have been a familiar part of the Scottish landscape for over two centuries. Over one hundred active malt whisky distilleries are currently dotted across Scotland – and this number is only set to swell.

In 2017 alone, we’re expecting at least a further eight malt whisky distilleries will open. Find out more about them here:

1. Torabhaig Distillery, Isle of Skye

Skye’s second distillery, complementing long-established Talisker Distillery at Carbost, Torabhaig Distillery overlooks the Sound of Sleat and the dramatic wilderness of the Knoydart peninsula and is housed in a converted 200-year-old farmstead. Production got underway in January 2017 and a visitor centre is currently being developed that will offer tours later this year.

Torabhaig Distillery, Sleat, Isle of Skye

Torabhaig Distillery, Sleat, Isle of Skye © Torabhaig Distillery

2. Isle of Raasay Distillery

Skye’s neighbouring island, Raasay, will welcome the Isle of Raasay Distillery this summer. Lying beneath the island’s highest point Dùn Caan, the distillery is set to produce ‘handcrafted whiskies of uncommon provenance’ using the peak’s volcanic water supply at every stage of distillation. Tours will be available and you can join the Slàinte Club whisky community for free or pay to join the exclusive Na Tùsairean Club, which includes a 10 year membership, bottlings and accommodation.

Artists impression of Isle of Raasay Distillery

Artists impression of Isle of Raasay Distillery © R & B Distillers

3. Toulvaddie Distillery, Fearn, by Tain

Staying in the Highlands but heading onto the mainland, Toulvaddie Distillery is the first Scotch whisky distillery to be founded solely by a woman – Heather Nelson – in over 200 years. Construction of this brand new micro-distillery, not far from the long-established Glenmorangie Distillery, will get under way later in the year, with production beginning as soon as possible after that.

Heather Nelson of Toulvaddie Distillery

Heather Nelson of Toulvaddie Distillery © Toulvaddie Distillery

4. Dornoch Distillery, Sutherland, Highlands

Housed in the quirky old ‘Fire House’ in the grounds of Dornoch Castle Hotel, Dornoch Distillery is located in the pretty Sutherland town of Dornoch. This micro distillery has been producing whisky since December 2016 and laid its first cask in January 2017. Based on the whisky styles of the 1960s and before, directors Phil and Simon Thompson are aiming to create an ‘elixir of yummy old style fruitiness’. On top of this, they will soon be releasing 10 batches of experimental gin, made in-house using organic floor-malted barley, to help fund their whisky production – keep your eyes peeled!

Simon and Phil Thompson, Dornoch Distillery

Simon and Phil Thompson, Dornoch Distillery © Dornoch Distillery Company

5. Lindores Distillery, Newburgh, Fife

Records indicate that whisky was first produced as far back as 1494 by Tironensian Monks at Lindores Abbey, on the northern edge of the Kingdom of Fife. With the opening of the beautiful Lindores Abbey Distillery it’s expected that production will begin again on this historic site from September 2017. Housed in the old Abbey farm steading, whisky produced by the distillery will be crafted using barley from local farms, giving you a real taste of the area. Book a tour once the distillery opens to learn about how its malt whisky is produced.

Lindores Distillery, Newburgh, Kingdom of Fife

Lindores Distillery, Newburgh, Kingdom of Fife © Lindores Distillery

6. Clydeside Distillery, Glasgow

Sitting proudly between the SEC and the striking Riverside Museum in the centre of Glasgow, the Clydeside Distillery will come to life following a £10.5 million refurbishment of the iconic Pump House on the riverside. Expected to open later this year, the distinctive single malt Scotch whisky distillery and visitor experience will feature a visitor centre offering tours and tastings, a café, a specialist whisky shop and an evening events venue.

Clydeside Distillery, Glasgow

Clydeside Distillery, Glasgow © Clydeside Distillery

7. Bladnoch Distillery, near Wigtown

Although not strictly a ‘new’ distillery, Bladnoch Distillery has been completely renovated under new ownership and will begin production again in time to celebrate the distillery’s 200 year anniversary. Located near Wigtown, in the lush surroundings of Dumfries & Galloway, the distillery was founded in 1817, making it both Scotland’s most southerly distillery and the oldest working distillery in the Lowlands whisky region. Look out for the visitor centre opening in spring 2018 and book a tour to discover more about Bladnoch’s transformation.

Installing a new washback, Bladnoch Distillery, near Wigtown

Installing a new washback, Bladnoch Distillery, near Wigtown © Bladnoch Distillery

8. Ncn’ean Distillery, Drimnin Estate, Morvern

Taking it’s abbreviated name from Neachneohain, the Gaelic Queen of Spirits, this brand new distillery embodies the spirit of this legendary character – strong, independent and never afraid to walk her own path – a quiet rebel and a fierce protector of nature. Perched above the Sound of Mull in secluded Morvern, Ncn’ean Distillery started producing organic single malt whisky in March 2017 using the best ingredients Scotland has to offer and pioneering sustainable production methods. Pre-booked distillery tours are available, a limited number of early casks in bond are for sale and they plan to explore some experimental early spirits in 2018.

Ncn'ean Distillery Drimnin Estate by Lochaline Morvern

Ncn’ean Distillery, Drimnin Estate, Morvern © Ncn’ean Distillery

And that’s just 2017. Even more distilleries will be firing up their stills in the next few years too, including the eagerly anticipated Ardnahoe Distillery (the ninth on the beautiful island of Islay), Holyrood Park Distillery and Visitor Centre in Edinburgh (the first in the city in 92 years), Isle of Arran Distillers are planning to build a second distillery at Lagg on the island and R & B Distillers plan to build a new distillery at Peebles in the Scottish Borders in the next few years.

Find out more about Scotland’s whisky distilleries and read our FREE whisky distilleries eBook for an interactive map of all the whisky distilleries in Scotland.


  • Enid Cruickshank

    Once again you ignore the Scottish Borders progress – one new distillery being built in Hawick and another close to Jedburgh – both should be in action in the next couple of years

    • Hi Enid, thanks for taking the time to comment. Don’t worry – we’re fully aware of the exciting new things happening in the Scottish Borders on the whisky-making scene 😊

      We’ve been in touch with a number of other newly-established distilleries not mentioned in this blog post, but some of them felt it was a just a bit too early in their operations for us to promote them to visitors (as they say, you can’t rush a good thing!). But when they are ready to get the word out, you can be assured that we will be shouting about it from the rooftops! Sláinte mhaith! 🍻

      • Mart

        Nice article David. When you are compiling your next blog post – have a look at our site – We received planning permission in March 2017. We have kicked off our funding programme and have lots of exciting history from Ardgowan and Inverkip to add to the provenance of our whisky. @ArdgowanWhisky and – please feel free to contact us for a chat

        • Cheers Mart, thanks for getting in touch. It sounds like a new fantastic project for the west of Scotland. We’ll be sure to drop you an email and get more details on when you might be ready to welcome visitors! 😃

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