A couple of days ago, in between two wild days, I took my chances and parked the car near the tip, a mile outside Bowmore, and went for a walk to check on the Gartbreck Distillery project. The sun was out, a skylark accompanied me during the walk down, and a few Roe Deer crossed the track and fled when they noticed me. As I came closer to the farm buildings I heard Lapwings calling, a clear sign of spring, but the closer I got to the gate I realised that nothing had changed since my last visit, almost a year ago. The only "new" thing was a sign with a picture of the new Gartbreck Distillery mentioning that distilling will start end of 2015 beginning of 2016.
I decided to take a closer look behind the farm and spotted two hares sunbathing in the walled garden. As I walked around the back, seeing the fishing boats out on Loch Indaal and smelling the salty air, I realised that this is a fabulous location for a whisky distillery. You have the sea on two sides and the views over the Rhinns are amazing. Furthermore, there are a lots of birds out on the rocks and beaches at low tide and I wouldn't be surprised if I had seen otters here. continue reading....
And what about the distillery plans you might wonder? Well as I said, nothing has happened so far, apart from the sign, and if distilling has to commence in 2016 I expect the builders to come in any time soon now, unless there are some unforeseen difficulties slowing down the project. Let's hope everything will turn out as the owners have planned and that the 9th Islay distillery will open next year. Many whisky lovers are looking forward to that.
Update 24th March 2015. The following post appeared on the Gartbreck Facebook page: "Building work is due to start later this year during the second semester with a view to start production by end of 2016 or beginning of 2017."
The beautiful view from Gartbreck towards Bowmore and the Paps of Jura.