Blends are out in Scotch shake-up

11 July, 2008

Glenmorangie is to stop bottling and selling blended Scotch

and concentrate on its single malts .

The company

is investing £45 million

over

two years

and

will sell off its Glen Moray blended whisky distillery at Elgin

to focus on building sales of its

Glenmorangie and Ardbeg brands.

Its head office will

relocate

to Edinburgh and a new bottling plant will be built in the Lothians region to meet

demand for single malt in markets such as Asia, Europe and the US. The group's existing headquarters and 33-acre bottling plant and cask warehouse in

West Lothian

will be sold to Diageo.

Glenmorangie's flagship distillery in Tain, Ross-shire, will be redeveloped, with

capacity boosted and new whisky cask warehouses built.

Ardbeg Distillery and visitor centre on Islay

will be upgraded and more warehousing added.

Glenmorangie chief executive Paul Neep said the group's announcement represented a "significant capital investment in Scotland". Glenmorangie's single malt brands will be supported by "increased marketing investment in key markets across the world", he added.

The company said a number of jobs may be affected by the plans, and a consultation will begin with its 420 employees and trade union representatives.

Glenmorangie Astar is being rolled out to the off-trade with a price tag of £55. The single malt has been aged in American white oak barrels that were specifically chosen back in 1985 for a project to experiment with "designer casks". The new whisky is bottled at full strength (57.1% abv) and described by the distiller as being "rich in toffee and crème brûlée, drizzled with fresh menthol, warm cinnamon and deep aniseed spices".




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