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Brora Distillery’s copper stills gently reawakened after 35 years of rest

In October 2017 we announced a major investment to revive two iconic “lost” distilleries, Brora and Port Ellen. Just over a year later the copper stills from the Brora distillery have been transported for refurbishment.

Feature

The beautiful copper pot stills of the Brora distillery, which have lain at rest since the distillery closed its doors in 1983, have begun the first stage of a journey that will see them once again making the finest single malt Scotch whisky.

Copper stills are the beating heart of any distillery and the original stills will once more be the centrepiece of the Brora Distillery as it is brought back into production over the next two years.

The pair of stills were carefully removed from the distillery before being transported 200 miles to Diageo Abercrombie coppersmiths in Alloa where they will be meticulously refurbished by highly skilled coppersmiths.

Brora stills being transported for refurbishment

Diageo Abercrombie has the richest heritage of crafting copper stills in the industry, with over two centuries of history dating back to 1790. Today the coppersmiths combine the age-old craft skills with modern technology to produce the highest quality handcraft engineering.

Although in good condition the stills require refurbishment to prepare them to return to fulltime distillation. The team at Abercrombie will refurbish Brora’s stills by hand and prepare them to once again produce the outstanding liquid that has made the distillery’s Scotch world famous.

Senior Chargehand Coppersmith Jim McEwan, who oversaw the moving of the stills, said:

“Abercrombie coppersmiths last worked on these very same stills in the early 1980s before the distillery closed its doors, so it’s a great priviledge for us to work on them now and to get them ready to produce spirit again.

“They are beautiful stills and they are actually in really good condition, but after 35 years of rest they do need a bit of loving care to get them ready to distill again. It will be a real pleasure to work on these stills.”

Stewart Bowman, Brora Distillery Project Implementation Manager, said:

“This is another important milestone in our journey to bring Brora Distillery back to life.

“Work is now well underway to meticulously restore the distillery buildings back to their former glory, and it is quite an emotional moment to see the stills beginning their journey back to fulltime spirit production.”

The restoration of Brora Distillery is part of a £35million investment programme that will also see the iconic Port Ellen Distillery on Islay brought back into production.

Find out more information on our investment into the revival or Brora and Port Ellen here.