By Rory Reynolds
SINGLE malt whisky brand GlenDronach is to receive massive investment to restore the distillery to its former glory.
Owners BenRiach are to splash out £7million on the former giant – which was in the top five for global whisky sales 40 years ago.
The distillery – situated near Huntly, in Speyside – is hoping to boost its fortunes from an expected 150,000 bottles this year to 250,000 by 2014.
The move at GlenDronach will see £5million spent on high quality sherry casks, along with £2million for promotions, advertising and extra staff.
It has already rocketed in popularity since BenRiach took over last year, when GlenDronach was selling fewer than 20,000 bottles a year.BenRiach – who has its own Speyside single malt of the same name – bought the beleaguered firm from whisky giant Chivas Brothers in a deal thought to be worth around £30million.
Managing director Billy Walker says the extra investment and new staff at GlenDronach will awake the “sleeping giant” over the next five years.
He said: “In recent years GlenDronach has fallen out of view but it has maintained a kind of cult status – this new investment returns it to centre stage.
“We’re pursuing our dream – to sell fine malt whisky all over the world and put GlenDronach were it belongs.”
The firm have already set their sights on the Danish market, and will bottle four special GlenDronach casks for Danish whisky fans, which will go on sale next month.
The investment in GlenDronach provides a substantial boost for the Scotch whisky industry after news came that the famous Johnnie Walker factory bottling plant in Kilmarnock is to close after a 189 year link with the Ayrshire town.
MSPs are set to hold a debate on the Diageo closures at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday.