Case study - Adelphi

01 Dec 2012

Adelphi Distillery Limited is an independent bottler of single casks of rare Scotch Malt Whisky. To meet international demand for its products in diverse markets including New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan, Europe, the US and Canada, and to return the company to its distilling roots, Adelphi has significant plans in place to produce its own Scotch Whisky at a new distillery in Ardnamurchan. Adelphi plans to secure its own spirit supply sustainably by building a distillery self-sufficient in energy. It will also secure high-value tourism and jobs in a remote region of Scotland.

Planning permissions for Ardnamurchan Distillery, warehousing and a visitor centre were approved in April 2012. These buildings will be as sympathetic as possible to the beauty of the local area, environmentally sustainable and in keeping with the surrounding architecture.

The new distillery will start producing around 100,000 litres of high quality new-make spirit each year, rising to 250,000 litres by year five. In line with plans for quality, the company will also aim for the highest production and environmental standards.

Wherever possible, local supplies will be used to make spirit.

Around half of the barley will be sourced from a family farm in West Fife, and will be malted and kilned at the distillery itself. Excess heat from the maltings will be reused.

Water for mashing the malt and for use at the visitor centre will be predominantly drawn from local spring water and the nearby Glenmore River, and the site will utilise 'grey-water' - water recirculated or re-used.

The distillery will use a wood-chip fuelled biomass plant as the only source of heat energy to drive the stills. The two woodchip fuelled boilers (<1MW) will produce low pressure steam for the distilling process. Wood will come from the extensive and sustainable woodland on site. In a first for modern Scotch Whisky distillation, all fuel will be supplied by tractor and trailer from a woodchip plant less than two miles from the distillery, reducing HGV movements. Boiler flue gases may also be employed indirectly for peat and woodchip drying.

Furthermore, all electricity demand will be provided by a hyrdo-electric turbine on the Glenmore River.

Plans are also afoot to support small-scale biofuel production and demonstrate the feasibility of using the by-products of distillation to produce a biofuel to be used on-site.

'Draff' - a by-product from the distillery - contains valuable protein, fibre and carbohydrates and will be fed directly to local cattle and sheep in winter. In summer it will be stored for winter feeding.

Ardnamurchan Distillery will provide up to 10 new, long term jobs and will support up to 100 local construction jobs. Building is expected to commence imminently.