Beverage tycoons Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh have revealed revised plans for a new distillery on Islay after being advised to ensure it was in keeping with the style of its neighbours.

The co-founders of London-based Elixir Distillers had submitted an application in August 2018 to build a distillery with timber and copper cladding and a turf-covered roof.

But after talks with Argyll & Bute Council planners, they have had it redesigned with whitewashed walls and slate-grey roof like other Islay distilleries such as Bowmore, Laphroaig and Ardbeg.

The brothers want to build their facility just outside Port Ellen, with a floor malting, space for 16 washbacks and four sets of pot stills. It aims to use heat reclaim technology to maximise  energy efficiency and minimise the impact on the environment. The distillery will include a visitors centre and educational facility focused on training and an apprentice programme.

Sukhinder Singh says: “I wanted to build a distillery on Islay because I have always loved the island, its people and its whiskies. I’ve been a regular visitor to the island for over 25 years and must have tasted close to 3000 different Islay whisky bottlings! From a liquid point of view, we are determined to produce the greatest spirit possible.

“We want to create something that inspires the people of Islay and our customers, and enhances the reputation of Islay as a source of some of the world’s greatest whiskies. Our hope is that our distillery becomes an integral part of the island community, and one of our key priorities is to work collaboratively with the local community to ensure everyone benefits.”

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Elixir Distillers will submit an application in March to build eight houses for distillery staff, and there are further plans to build accommodation at Torradale Farm.

The firm is also working with Islay Community Council on plans for a charitable fund to be managed by a board of trustees for projects on the island. Elixir Distillers plans to donate £1 from every bottle of their 2020 Port Askaig limited edition release to the fund.

In December, Argyll & Bute Council granted planning permission for Diageo to restore the long lost Port Ellen distillery, which will become the island’s 10th working distillery. Already operating are Ardbeg, Ardnahoe, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Kilchoman, Lagavulin and Laphroaig,



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