Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky division of Pernod Ricard, has unveiled plans to establish its inaugural distillery on the iconic Scottish isle of Islay. This development brings Pernod Ricard into the fold of nine existing distilleries on Islay, including Diageo's Caol Ila and Beam Suntory's Laphroaig.
The company has acquired land on Gartbreck Farm, situated west of Bowmore at Saltpan Point on the shores of Loch Indaal. It is at this picturesque location with stunning views facing Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte across the loch that the new single malt whisky distillery will be established.
This endeavor marks the first time that Pernod Ricard will introduce an Islay whisky into its renowned Scotch portfolio. Pernod Ricard's Scotch brands encompass a wide range, including The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Chivas Regal, and Ballantine’s.
Jean-Etienne Gourgues, Chairman and CEO at Chivas Brothers, expressed the significance of this development, stating, "This is an important new chapter in the Chivas Brothers story. The introduction of an Islay whisky completes our comprehensive and award-winning Scotch portfolio. As a business built on hundreds of years of heritage, it also gives us the opportunity to do something we rarely do, which is to start from scratch."
The newly established site will focus exclusively on producing Islay single malt whisky and will adhere to carbon-neutral principles. This aligns with Chivas Brothers' ambitious goal of achieving carbon neutrality across all of its facilities by the end of 2026.
The company recently committed over GBP 60 million (USD 76m) toward realizing this sustainability objective.
Gourgues further emphasized their dedication to sustainability, stating, "Here on Islay, we can create a blueprint for carbon-neutral distilling and continue to usher in this era of sustainable Scotch. We are committed to Scotch, to the Islay community, and the landscape that makes it the perfect place to continue our vision to shape the future of whisky."
Chivas Brothers plans to unveil additional details about the project in the coming months.
Pernod Ricard's Scotch whisky business recently achieved a 10-year high, with sales surging by 17% in the 12 months ending June 30, 2023.
The outstanding performance for the year was led by its blended Scotch brands, with Royal Salute recording a remarkable 32% growth, Chivas Regal with a 25% increase, and Ballantine’s with a 13% rise. Additionally, The Glenlivet single malt witnessed a 9% increase in sales.
Pernod Ricard also owns the Scapa Distillery located on the Scottish island of Orkney, which recently unveiled a new whisky tasting room.
Last year, Chivas Brothers made an £88 million (approximately US$110.5 million) investment to enhance production capabilities at its single malt distilleries.
Pernod Ricard's Scotch whisky division recently achieved a sales milestone not seen in the past decade, experiencing a substantial 17% sales surge in the 12 months concluding on June 30, 2023. This remarkable performance for the year was primarily driven by the success of its blended Scotch brands. Royal Salute, in particular, stood out with an impressive 32% growth, closely followed by Chivas Regal, which witnessed a notable 25% increase. Ballantine's also contributed to the outstanding results with a substantial 13% rise in sales. Additionally, The Glenlivet single malt displayed robust performance, recording a notable 9% increase in sales.
In addition to this newly announced investment, Chivas Brothers allocated last year a significant sum of GBP 88 million (USD 110m) to bolster production capabilities at its single malt distilleries.