Click through to view an artists impression of Pernod Ricards new Scotch whisky distillery

Click through to view an artist's impression of Pernod Ricard's new Scotch whisky distillery

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Pernod Ricard is looking to build a new malt whisky distillery in Scotland as part of its expansion plans in the country.

The company, which earlier this year committed to spending GBP40m (US$62.2m) per year on upping its Scotch capacity, said earlier today (18 October) that it has started the planning process to construct a facility in Speyside. While the plan is at its earliest stages, production could begin at the distillery, which will be built on the site of the silent Imperial Distillery, as soon as 2015, just-drinks understands.

As recently as last month, the head of Pernod's Chivas Brothers Scotch and premium gin division, Christian Porta, hinted that the company was looking at a new distillery to help satisfy demand for Scotch in emerging markets. “The next stage for us - and we are starting to think about it - is to look to build a new distillery from scratch,” Porta said in September. “The key factor is future sales: We look at what we are going to sell and where we are going to sell it.”

When contacted by just-drinks, a spokesperson for Chivas declined to give specific investment figures for the distillery, as Pernod is in a quiet period ahead of next week's Q1 trading update. The capacity of the facility would be “subject to consultation” as part of the planning process, the spokesperson added. It will produce malt whisky destined for Chivas Brothers' blended whiskies, which includes Chivas Regal and Ballantine's.

The Imperial Distillery which has been inactive since 1998 and was acquired by Chivas Brothers in 2005, is located on the banks of the River Spey near Carron.


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