Scotch makers are looking for capacity

Scotch makers are looking for capacity

The BenRiach Distillery Co's “under the radar” swoop for Glenglassaugh last week is unlikely to be repeated, as the Scotch industry's battle for capacity intensifies, the firm's head has said.

On Friday (25 March), BenRiach announced that it had paid Amsterdam-based Lumiere Holdings an undisclosed sum for the Glenglassaugh distillery in Banffshire. It has an annual capacity of 1.1m litres and produces the Glenglassaugh single malt, BenRiach said.

However, speaking to just-drinks today, BenRiach CEO Billy Walker said he was surprised at the lack of rivals for Glenglassaugh.

“We are so chuffed we've managed to do this under the radar,” Walker said. “I suspect that, if it had been known that the distillery was available for purchase, there would have been quite a lot of interest in it.”

Walker said that, with distillers chasing capacity as global demand for Scotch continues to heat up, competition for independents such as Glenglassaugh will intensify.

“I think it'll be quite difficult (to do the same) in the future,” he said. “We got lucky because the whisky industry is a village and trying to hide something from the industry is pretty much impossible.”

Lumiere Holdings bought Glenglassaugh from Edrington in February 2008 for about GBP5m (US$7.5m). The site, which had been closed since 1986, was used in the production of blended whiskies such as Cutty Sark and The Famous Grouse.