Glenglassaugh whisky distillers bought by BenRiach

Alex Salmond at the Glenglassaugh Distillery with Stuart Nickerson. Picture: TSPL
Alex Salmond at the Glenglassaugh Distillery with Stuart Nickerson. Picture: TSPL
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THE BenRiach Distillery Company has bought the Portsoy-based Glenglassaugh whisky distillery in Banffshire for an undisclosed sum, it was revealed today.

The historic distillery, which dates back to 1875, re-opened in 2009 after being mothballed for 22 years and was owned by Amsterdam-based Lumiere Holdings. The distillery produces a range of single malt whiskies and currently has the capacity to produce 1.1 million litres of whisky a year.

Edinburgh-headquartered BenRiach is led by master blender Billy Walker and his partners, South African whisky entrepreneurs Geoff Bell and Wayne Kieswetter.

Mr Walker said: “Five years ago, our acquisition of GlenDronach surprised and delighted whisky connoisseurs around the world and today we are confident that our latest intriguing acquisition will have the same positive effect.

“We’re really delighted to buy Glenglassaugh, a renowned Highland single malt with a rich and distinguished heritage. It’s an excellent complementary fit with our existing BenRiach and GlenDronach brands. Part of its attraction to us is that it isn’t too large for our portfolio but its potential in contributing to the group certainly is.”

He continued: “It’s our intention to bring this iconic distillery fully back to life by giving it the investment, commitment and care it deserves. I believe our whisky expertise, proven brand-building ability and strong routes to market will help take Glenglassaugh to the next level.”

Mr Walker added: “The timing is good as there is no doubt we are currently in a golden age for scotch whisky. There’s unprecedented demand for high-end brands like ours in places like Taiwan, Scandinavia, USA, China, India, Russia, the Middle East, South Africa and South America, and we now have the fantastic opportunity to re-introduce Glenglassaugh to these markets.”

Stuart Nickerson, Glenglassaugh’s managing director, said: “It’s great to be back in Scottish hands. Glenglassaugh is a fantastic brand that was unheard of five years ago and today is exported to over twenty-five countries worldwide. It’s highly regarded as a premium brand and has won numerous top awards. We’ve grown the business significantly and today’s announcement means continued investment and will also allow the business to grow further and more rapidly.”