Diagio's Deathstar distillery! On 11 October 2010, Diageo opened the doors of its new £40 million Roseisle distillery for the first time. As Scotland's first new major whisky distillery for 30 years, an almost carbon neutral behemoth with features such as a £14m biomass plant, and closed loop condensers to reduce water waste Roseisle is a blueprint for the distilleries of the future, alas it's also been greeted with more than a little concern.
It's fairly common for a distillery to produce multiple styles of Whisky sometimes this is achieved via use of stills, different fermentation times, rectifiers but seldom is a distillery been so obviously purpose built. Of the seven pairs of stills, six can switch between stainless or copper shells and condenser and by shortening mashing and fermentation regimes heavy spirit can be created. Fermentations in excess of 90 hours can be used to produce a lighter more vegetal make. Pair the versatility of the equipment lined up at Roseisle with the wave of shutdowns following the rebuild of Caol Ila and enthusiasts can perhaps be forgiven for worrying that Diagio's motivation was to close smaller sites.
Happily that's proven not to be the case as the distillery has been running constantly since 2010 supporting Diageo's Johnnie Walker and Buchanan blended whisky ranges and the investment has so far proven to be only part of a wider investment in the category. While the existence of this kind of super distillery could still see smaller sites closed in the event of crisis and strategic repositioning for the moment the Death Star seems pretty harmless
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2007 : Diageo announce plans to build new £40m distillery
2009 : The first test spirit ran in 2009 from Roseisle's stills
2010 : Formally opened by Diageo’s chief executive, Paul Walsh, on October 11th, it has operated consistently since