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Glenwyvis distillery

GlenWyvis is Scotland’s first distillery in communal hands. It was funded by crowdfunding and is independent of the power grid thanks to its diverse own power products. It is considered to be the most environmentally friendly distillery in Scotland. Alas as the distillery has not yet released any spirit we are left to speculate on the nature of the first whiskies of GlenWyvis.

Glenwyvis Whisky

GlenWyvis is Scotland’s First ‘Community Owned Distillery’. It has been funded through a crowd-funding project and already has over 3,000 participants, who have collected over 2.6 million pounds for the project. It it is also Scotland’s first (new) distillery to operates completely self-sufficient from the state power grid. The distillery is instead powered with a combination of environmentally friendly including wind and water power, solar power plants and a biomass boiler. The distillery is located in the small village of dingwall near Inverness at the foot of the northern highlands and is said to be strongly committed to the local highland community.

House style

How will GlenWyvis Whisky taste? The new distillery will not exceed the minimum period for Scotch whisky of 3 years at the earliest in 2021. There’s supposed to be a release after three and after 8 years. However, it is still unclear whether the 3-year-old release will be available for the open market, or be exclusively provided for the partners. It is planned to produce both peated and unpeated whisky. Asked about their desired flavour profile, the distillery says it wants to create a “green and grassy Highland spirit”.


How is GlenWyvis Whisky produced?So far, not much is known about the production, as the distillery was not finished until the end of 2017. The distillery, like most small young distilleries, wants to implement a long fermentation period. The distillation process is intended to contain a lot of copper contact, which translates to a mild and fruity spirit. The two classic Pot Stills come from the traditional company Forsyth in Rothes.

The wash still holds 2500 liters and is onion-like, while the Spirit Still with its capacity of 1,700 liters appears rather latern-shaped. The distillery is thus piling up an annual capacity of 140,000 litres of alcohol. First-fill and Refill Ex-Bourbon barrels and former sherry barrels are to be used for maturation. The barrels are stored in a traditional Dunnage warehouse on the distillery grounds.


The region around Dingwall is in fact steeped in history. One of the most famous distilleries in the 18th Century was at home in Dingwall. The Ferintosh Distillery, founded in 1690, is likely to have produced almost a century of tax-free whisky. Even the Scottish National Poet Robert Burns lamented the demise of the distillery in his poem “Scotch Drink”.

In 1879, a distillery named Ben Wyvis in Dingwall was founded, later to be renamed Ferintosh. The good reputation of the name should was probably hoped to increase the sales of the new distillery, but alas this newer distillery fell victim to the hard years of Prohibition in the USA.

Glenskiach was built by the then distillery architect Charles Doig. Famous for the ‘Doig ventilator’ or Pagoda roof over the maltings. This design adorns most of the Malt whisky distilleries until today and has become a landmark of the Scotch whisky industry. So much so that these are now added as decorative fixtures to sites where they serve no functional use such as Ardnahoe.

The helicopter pilot John McKenzie began planning the revival of the whisky tradition in his hometown of Dingwall in 2011. McKenzie was already active in the local wind power cooperative and, in addition to his own wind turbine, possessed the necessary agricultural areas. In 2014, he finally got permission to implement the project.

In 2016, he launched the first phase of the crowd-funding campaign, surpassing the original goal of £ 1.5 million with 2 million pounds clear. In January 2017, the construction of the distillery was started, which was completed in November of the same year. The approximately 3000 participants have already made a first Community decision, so 2018 had a gin still installed in the distillery. So far however the sold GlenWyvis Gin is still being produced by Shetland Reel at Saxa Vord Distillery in Unst on the Shetland Islands.

Glenwyvis factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Glenwyvis Highlands Scotland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Pending 2016 - Present Malt Glenwyvis Not Available
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group

Can I tour Glenwyvis?

No, unfortunately Glenwyvis distillery is not open to the public for tours