Brora distillery, which last operated in 1983, is set to reopen and back in production by 2020. The copper pot stills have been transported 200 miles to Diageo Abercrombie coppersmiths in Alloa for a meticulous refurbishment by coppersmiths. Diageo Abercrombie has a heritage of crafting copper stills, dating back to 1790.
Although in good condition the stills require refurbishment to prepare them to return to fulltime distillation. The team at Abercrombie will refurbish Brora’s stills by hand and prepare them to once again produce whisky.
Senior Chargehand Coppersmith Jim McEwan, who oversaw the moving of the stills, said, “Abercrombie coppersmiths last worked on these very same stills in the early 1980s before the distillery closed its doors, so it’s a great priviledge for us to work on them now and to get them ready to produce spirit again.
“They are beautiful stills and they are actually in really good condition, but after 35 years of rest they do need a bit of loving care to get them ready to distill again. It will be a real pleasure to work on these stills.”
Stewart Bowman, Brora Distillery Project Implementation Manager, said, “This is another important milestone in our journey to bring Brora Distillery back to life. Work is now well underway to meticulously restore the distillery buildings back to their former glory, and it is quite an emotional moment to see the stills beginning their journey back to fulltime spirit production.”
The restoration of Brora Distillery is part of a £35million investment programme that will also see the Port Ellen Distillery on Islay brought back into production.