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New Islay distillery on the cards

Published:  27 September, 2013

Scotland's Islay is to get its ninth distillery, although plans have yet to be made public.

The second distillery to open in Islay in a decade - following Kilchoman's 2005 launch, the first in 125 years - it will also be the smallest.

Work is apparently slated to start soon on a site on the shores of Loch Indaal, within sight of the Bowmore distillery and across the loch from that at Bruichladdich.

An official announcement about the new distillery has yet to be made, but the company behind it was registered in May as Gartbreck Distillery, based at Gartbreck Farmhouse. The managing director is listed with Companies House as Jean Donnay - better known to whisky fans as the man behind the Glann ar Mor distillery in Brittany, western France.

Gartbreck Distillery is said to be scheduled to open in spring 2015. While whisky websites are buzzing with rumours about the new distillery, several fans have cast doubt on the rumoured opening date, pointing out that there seems to be no sign of planning permission for the build.

When it does open, the new venture will join Islay's eight established distilleries: neighbours Bunnahabhain, Bowmore, Caol Ila and Bruichladdich in the north of the island, and Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Laphroaig in the south. A possible 10th - Bruichladdich's Port Charlotte Distillery - already has planning permission.