Sustainable whisky distillery to open in Wiltshire

The newly formed Wiltshire Whisky Distillery Company has revealed plans to open a grain-to-glass distillery next year, and is seeking to raise £3 million (US$4.2m).

The new distillery will produce spirits made using ingredients found on the Fonthill Estate

Brewer Alasdair ‘Eddie’ Large, advertising and marketing executive Alistair Munro, and drinks marketeer Jon Carson have co-founded The Wiltshire Whisky Distillery Company.

Large is the co-founder of Keystone Brewery, located on the Fonthill Estate in Berwick, Wiltshire, where the new distillery will be located.

The trio has received approval from Lord Margadale of the Fonthill Estate to proceed with the development of a new whisky distillery on his property. Planning permission for the site is underway and in its final stages.

Distillation at the site is expected to begin during the fourth quarter of 2021, with the release of the first spirits due by early 2022.

The distillery will produce single malt, single grain and blended single-estate whiskies, alongside a range of botanical spirits and gins.

The products will be made using ingredients found on the estate, including spring water filtered through limestone rock, barley from the farmlands and botanicals from the woodlands.

Green ambition

Munro, CEO of The Wiltshire Whisky Distillery Company, said: “It is a dream realised to be building our distillery within such a culturally significant estate as Fonthill.

“Not only does it provide a rich backdrop for the development of our uniquely British brand, it also enables us to achieve our ambition of creating a highly sustainable, single-estate offering.

“We will assess every business, brewing and distilling decision in terms of environmental impact, local provenance and sustainability.

“The distillery intends to be carbon neutral from the start and, very soon thereafter, carbon negative, making the market’s ambitions for tomorrow The Wiltshire Whisky Distillery Company’s goals for today.”

As head distiller, Large will produce the beer wash that will form the basis of the whiskies.

He said: “Fonthill sits in the heart of the premium barley growing and malting region of England. The matching of the Fonthill water, the grains, the yeast and our fermenting process, combined with the unique Fonthill terroir, will allow us to produce the highest quality beer wash to feed our copper stills.

“The synergy in the crafts of brewing and premium whisky distillation will sit perfectly together in our distillery.”

The founders will be guided by an advisory board of industry experts, including James Espey OBE, known for creating brands such as Chivas Regal 18 and Johnnie Walker Blue Label; Alan Rutherford OBE, the current chairman of Compass Box Whisky Co; Chivas Brothers veteran Colin Scott; and Antonia Jamison, a founding director of Sipsmith.

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