The Cabrach: Whisky production to return to the birthplace of Scotland’s national drink

The Cabrach: Whisky production to return to the birthplace of Scotland’s national drink

Whisky production could return to the remote parish which claims to be the birthplace of Scotland’s national drink.

Famed for its long and colourful whisky distilling history, the Cabrach, in Moray, was once a legendary haunt of illicit distillers and smugglers.

At the turn of the 20th century the area was home to a population of over 1000, but today that number is less than 100.

Now there are ambitious plans to regenerate the area and breathe fresh life into this remote part of Scotland by building a community-owned distillery.

The Cabrach Trust, which was formed in 2013, hope a refurbished 19th century steading at Inverharroch Farm will soon become home of The Cabrach Distillery, which will produce a heritage-led Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Within eight years the distillery is forecast to have an annual turnover of almost £3.4m and provide employment for 12.5 full time equivalent posts, as well as 50 volunteering opportunities.

Now the trust has secured funding of £500,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise which will be used to help cover the costs of construction works on the extensive refurbishment of the farm steading.

Artist impression of the distillery. Credit: The Cabrach Trust

‘This incredible investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise is central to realising The Cabrach Distillery; a project which will serve as the lungs of our long term, transformational regeneration strategy for this important place,’ said Jonathan Christie, chief executive officer of The Cabrach Trust.

‘Beyond vital funding, the Trust is excited to work alongside HIE as we deliver what we collectively believe has the potential to become an exemplar of community led, rural regeneration in action.’

Operating as a social enterprise, all surplus profits from the £5 million venture will be reinvested for the benefit of the community.

‘This project represents a significant third sector project in Moray’s most rural area, where population has declined significantly. Tapping into local heritage it seeks to use this to attract and retain new talent,’ said Fiona Robb, from HIE’s team in Moray.

‘In addition to production, turnover and sales, the venture will contribute to community regeneration with significant social benefits and low carbon credentials.

‘It will support new employment, alongside a sustained commitment to providing training and education. It will also enhance the region’s appeal to visitors and its reputation for quality food and drink production.

‘I’m delighted we’ve been able to provide support and look forward to continuing to work with the Trust as they develop the venture.’

Read more Whisky news here.

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