Independent bottler and blender Brave New Spirits has announced plans for a new single malt whisky distillery in Campbeltown. Witchburn Distillery, as it would be called, will be the third new Campbeltown distillery currently under development. The other two are Machrihanish and Dál Riata.
Witchburn Distillery will be located between Campbeltown Airport and Machrihanish Village. The net zero carbon distillery will produce two million litres of alcohol per year, which would immediately vault it to the top of all Campbeltown distilleries.
Once built, Witchburn will operate with one 1 mash tun (capacity of 5 tonnes); 16 washbacks with a capacity of 30,000 litres, allowing for a fermentation time of at least 96 hours; 2 wash stills (16,000 litres) and 2 spirit stills (7,000 litres). Spirit is expected to be filled into bourbon barrels, Oloroso sherry casks, port casks and organic Bordeaux wine barriques.
On the surface, Brave New Spirits is a relative newcomer to the whisky scene. Incorporated in 2020, the independent bottling arm has launched a flurry of new releases over the past two years. You might’ve come across Whisky of Voodoo and Cask Noir, two of the series by Brave New Spirits.
But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find that the people involved in Withcburn Distillery have earned their marks in the whisky industry. Most notably founding master distiller Andrew Nairn, who previously worked at Glenkinchie, Strathmill and Borders Distillery, who said:
“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with Organic Architects and Frilli to develop a distillery to produce a truly great Campbeltown Spirit to combine traditional artisan methods of whisky-making with the latest green technology is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
But also joint owners Adam Hochul (formerly of Aceo) and Alexander Springensguth (involved with German bottler Scotch Universe), who said:
“We are looking forward becoming part of the community, contributing to the already worldwide reputation of Campbeltown whisky. We could not find a better location to build our first still house. The distillery is a great addition to our existing portfolio of internationally recognised brands of Scotch whisky, but also an opportunity to give back to the outstanding community of Scottish whisky distillers.
“The whole design aims to produce a typical, complex and full-bodied Campbeltown malt. Our aim is to recreate a whisky like it has been produced many decades ago.”
If all goes to plan, Witchburn Distillery should be operational in the last quarter of 2024. Experience has thought us that might be a bit ambitious, but here’s to hoping it works out.