The Edrington Group plans to invest further in its Highland Park brand following the announcement of an initial GBP750,000 investment at its Orkney distillery.

Jason Craig, global controller of Highland Park, told just-drinks today (19 August) the company would be looking to invest a further GBP250,000 (US$413,000) in the brand, to include premium tours of the distillery.

Craig also said the company sees Asia as an important growth market for its Highland Park whisky brand.

He said that while the UK was the brand's biggest market, Asia has emerged as a significant market over the last few years, including Japan and Taiwan.

"The UK is our number one market and the second is global travel retail," Craig said. "The US is also a good market for us, as is Japan, and we are punching above our weight in Scandanavia. But Asia has emerged as a significant market over the last few years."

Edrington yesterday announced a GBP750,000 (US$1.2m) investment in its Highland Park Orkney distillery.

The investment includes a GBP250,000 revamp of the distillery visitor centre, a tasting room, a VIP room and a GBP500,000 replacement of two pagoda roofs.

Craigs said the investment was a bid to boost the brand's growth further.

"There have been around two or three areas of the brand that have changed over the last three years and Edrington therefore decided to invest GBP18m in marketing etc, to try and get the brand growing further.

"Because more and more people were visiting, we felt the visitor centre was a little bit 1980's and so the investment has been quite swift. The brand has grown 80% over the last four years and we are seeing a lot of overseas visitors, as well as from the UK."