A BUSINESSMAN who resurrected the 100-year-old Tweeddale blend of whisky from a recipe inherited from his great-grandfather is raising £5 million to build a distillery in the Borders.
Alasdair Day inherited his ancestor’s “cellar book” in 2009 and set about recreating some of the blends Richard Day had made in Coldstream in the early 1900s.
Day buys single cask malts of the same age and from the same distilleries as his great-grandfather once did to create the Tweeddale blend. But the global success of Scotch means aged whisky is now in short supply, leading many to turn to making their own. Last week plans were announced for a new distillery on the Isle of Skye on land in the south of the island that previously belonged to Sir Iain Noble.
Day has plans for a £2.9m distillery at Walkerburn, between Peebles and Galashiels, and is in talks with investors. Because he will have to wait several years before his whisky is ready to sell, he is also expecting to need about £2.1m in working capital.
It would be the first distillery in the Borders since 1837. The first spirit could be launched in 2018 if things go to plan.
“Whisky is almost a victim of its own success,” Day said. “Aged whisky is getting sold out, and even the big brands are starting to turn away from putting ages on the bottles.”
He said his distillery would be on a similar scale to the one planned on Skye, and would produce about 100,000 litres of pure alcohol a year initially. That total, small by the standards of many whisky firms, could eventually be scaled up.
“It’s an opportunity for me to take my whisky home to the Borders,” he added.
The site of his planned distillery is near Glentress Forest, the largest tourist draw in the Borders, and like many craft distilleries Day plans to supplement its income by running a visitor centre.
Tweeddale has worked with Edinburgh-based media company VistaBee, and Day was recently interviewed using the revolutionary Google Glass.