THE ability of the Scotch whisky industry to thrive even amid the toughest economic challenges never ceases to amaze.

After the shock of the pandemic, which forced distillers to radically reshape business models, and the supply chain upheaval that followed, major players are once again investing for the future. And there have been plenty of examples in recent days.

The Artisanal Spirits Company, best known as the owner of the prestigious Scotch Malt Whisky Society, highlighted the progress it is making in international markets. It said this week that its plans to launch a new subsidiary in Taiwan, described by Artisanal as the world’s third-largest market for ultra-premium Scotch, are now at an advanced stage.

The Taiwan operation, which is scheduled to open in the third quarter, is key to Artisanal’s aspirations to expand membership of the Society in South-east Asia and will follow new franchise agreements forged by the company in South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore.

READ MORE: Scottish hotel market thriving in midst of 'perfect storm'

Those developments have come alongside a £2.5 million investment in a new warehouse and fulfilment centre in Uddingston, which the company has said will bring about a “real step change” in its capability.

Membership of the Society, which gives whisky lovers access to rare and sought-after spirits from around the world, now stands at more than 38,700, up 9% year-on-year, which underlines that high-quality Scotch remains in high demand despite the difficult economic conditions. First-half revenues at Artisanal edged up to £10 million from £9.9m last time, with performance strong in the UK and Europe and the outlook improving in China following the easing of Covid restrictions.

Analysts at Canaccord Genuity said the growth in membership highlights the appeal of the Society’s offer to enthusiasts and the demand for its curated range, which includes whisky and spirits from more than 100 distilleries in 20 countries.

A different kind of investment for the future was announced by Chivas Brothers this week. In an illustration of the spirit of collaboration that the Scotch whisky industry has traditionally been known for, the distiller revealed that it would make the expertise and findings from its recent integration of heat recovery technology “open source” for the benefit of the wider sector.

READ MORE: What can Scotland's troubled ferry service learn from Croatia?

The Chivas Regal, Glenlivet and Ballantine’s maker declared that by sharing the insights from a successful pilot at its Glentauchers Distillery, near Keith, it was putting collaboration ahead of competition as the industry journeys to net zero. The Glentauchers pilot of the heat recovery technology, which is designed to capture and recycle heat generated by the distilling process, is said to have reduced total energy consumption by nearly half (48%) and cut carbon emissions at the site by 53%.

Jean-Etienne Gourgues, chairman and chief executive of Chivas, said: “Heat recovery forms a critical part of our commitment to achieve carbon neutral distillation by 2026.

“Findings with such significant impact must be shared; this technology has the potential to transform our industry and accelerate its progress to net zero. That’s why today we’re making our design process and implementation learnings available to all.

“As a business with a long history of innovation, we believe this is the right thing to do.”

The future meanwhile is looking exciting at the Rosebank Distillery in Falkirk. Owner Ian Macleod Distillers, which also owns the Tamdhu and Glengoyne distilleries, announced that it has completed the first production run at the historic distillery for more than 30 years.

Rosebank was mothballed in 1993 but has been slowly brought back to life by Ian Macleod since it acquired the distillery from Diageo in 2017. Millions of pounds have been invested to revive production in a project that pays tribute to Rosebank’s lowland tradition while introducing facilities to make it fit for the future. A new visitor centre, which Ian Macleod hopes will draw fans from around the world, will follow in 2024.

READ MORE: Monday Interview: West Highlands fish and chip cafe with a difference

Distillery manager Malcolm Rennie said: “We’ve known all along the magic and majesty that Rosebank retains, and you can really feel this come to life as we start up production once again and fill the first cask with the new Rosebank Spirit, Cask No. 001. This is the first Rosebank spirit to be distilled in more than 30 years, so it’s an absolute honour to oversee the moment, and play a part in returning this once whisky giant to its former glory.”

A notable whisky announcement was made in Speyside this week too. The picturesque Speyburn Distillery in Rothes said it will permanently open its doors to the whisky-loving public from August, when it begins offering daily tours. The move follows the success of a series of one-off events at the 126-year-old distillery during the Spirit of Speyside Festival in May, which marked the first time it had opened to the public.

Distillery manager Euan Henderson said: “There is something very special about the setting and atmosphere at Speyburn, perhaps because it’s quite a hidden distillery and one that has gone about the business of making award-winning drams that are loved the world over in a very quiet and modest way. But now it’s time to let the world in and we couldn’t be more excited.

“There’s no artifice about the visitor experience we have created. This will be a true taste of Speyside distillery life that will offer an accessible and enjoyable experience for all.”