InchDairnie Distillery took 18 months to build, John Fergus & Co said

InchDairnie Distillery took 18 months to build, John Fergus & Co said

A new single malt Scotch whisky distillery that aims to produce two million litres in its first year signals a move away from the "recent surge" in craft distilleries, its owner has said.

InchDairnie Distillery, which officially opens today, could distill as much as four million litres a year once running at full capacity, according to John Fergus & Co. The Fife plant has taken 18 months to build and will house four warehouses capable of holding 88,000 casks.

John Fergus & Co described the distillery as a "bold, forward-thinking approach to producing Scotch malt whisky, while remaining respectful of tradition".

Financial details have not been released, however the distillery was estimated to cost GBP8m (US$11.5m) when the project was first announced in early 2013.

InchDairnie expects to produce its first single malt in 2029 and will also make a malt for blending to sell to other distillers including strategic partner MacDuff International.

"We are fortunate not to be under any commercial pressure to release our whisky so we will wait until the whisky is at its absolute best, which could be in ten, 12 or 15 years time," said John Fergus managing director Ian Palmer.

Describing its "house style", Palmer said the new distillery will use local Fife barley and water to create "a full-bodied and complex whisky" with a slightly sweet edge. The distillery claims to be the only one to use double condensers, which ensure more copper contact. 

Meanwhile, the mash conversion will use a mash filter and hammer mill, "a combination that is very rare in Scottish distilling", Palmer said.

Are craft spirits friend or foe to big drinks companies?