One of Scotland's oldest licensed distilleries is set for a £30 million expansion to help meet soaring demand for its single malts.

Global drinks group Brown-Forman, owner of The GlenDronach Distillery in the Valley of Forgue in Aberdeenshire, said the investment follows a tripling in demand since GlenDronach came under its ownership in 2016. The three-year phased project will double the site’s current production capacity of almost two million litres per year, while also improving energy efficiency.

Distillery manager Laura Tolmie said significant attention will given to preserving the site on the grounds of the former Boynsmill Estate, including the restoration of the former maltings building as a working production area. The distillery dates back almost two hundred years when it was established by James Allardice in 1826.

Once the largest duty-paying distillery in the Scottish Highlands, GlenDronach was mothballed in 1996 while under the ownership of Allied Distillers. It re-opened in 2002 and became part of the BenRiach Distillery Company in 2008, which in turn was acquired by Brown-Foreman in 2016 in a £285 million deal.

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GlenDronach is sold in more than 60 countries around the world, with its largest market in the US. Growth as part of the Brown-Forman portfolio has been broad-based, with demand particularly strong in the US, Asia and the global travel retail sector.

More than 69,000 cases of GlenDronach were sold in 2021, generating revenues of approximately $78m (£64m).

This is the second phase of investment by Brown-Forman in the historic distillery following renovations of the visitors’ centre in 2020, which created a new tasting room, whisky bar, lounge, and retail space.

"As a small, traditional Scottish distillery, we’re very proud to be custodians of such a revered single malt at The GlenDronach," Ms Tolmie said.

"I’m delighted that this significant investment in the long-term future of the distillery is secured, preserving our rich heritage whilst ensuring we can meet the increasing demand for The GlenDronach at home and around the world.”