Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Orkney Distillery latest to join whisky boom

Published:  26 March, 2024

The production of single malt Scotch whisky is underway at The Orkney Distillery, marking a new era for the business, best known for its award-winning range of Kirkjuvagr gins. 

An initial whisky mash has been completed, with the very first distillation planned for International Whisky Day (27 March). 

The news comes amidst the revival of several Scotch whisky distilleries including Rosebank, known as the ‘King of the Lowlands’, and the Diageo-owned Port Ellen, which has reopened after 40 years.

Founded in 2016, Orkney has long-held ambitions to move into whisky and rum production, however plans were curtailed due to the pandemic.

Stephen Kemp (left), MD of Orkney Distilling, said: “Whisky production has been our dream since we began work on the distillery in 2017, so we were incredibly excited to receive our official approvals to allow us to finally begin production. We’re also fortunate to be working with some of the most respected and experienced whisky production experts.”

Licence to distil Scotch whisky and rum was granted to Orkney Distilling last year, with work to adapt and expand the company’s distillery on Kirkwall’s Ayre Road progressing rapidly over the past few months.  

A pilot brewhouse has now been installed at The Orkney Distillery for the initial whisky and rum development phase. Late summer will see the addition of three new copper pot stills, together with a larger brewhouse which will provide a production capacity of around 30,000L of pure alcohol per year.  

“Over the past seven years The Orkney Distillery has become well established within the Scottish drinks sector, with our award-winning range of Kirkjuvagr gin a firm favourite in the marketplace,” Kemp continued.

“Our single malt Scotch whisky will be a fantastic addition to the distillery’s product range and will be crafted with the same commitment and attention to detail that we’ve applied to our gin production,” he added.

As an initial step into the whisky market, and before its single malt becomes available after the minimum three-year maturation period, The Orkney Distillery will be offering two blended whiskies, peated and unpeated, named Hoy and Fara. These will be further matured in selected barrels in Kirkwall for small batch release.