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Six months after breaking ground, Elixir Distillers has confirmed that their new Islay distillery will be called Portintruan.
Located just outside the town of Port Ellen on Islay’s south coast, Portintruan is pronounced Port-nah-truan. It takes its name from the farm estate where the distillery is located and means “place of the stream”.
Co-owner Sukhinder Singh said: “Elixir Distillers has always taken a flavour led approach and this will be the Portintruan philosophy as well. We will be utilising a number of old-style production techniques which we believe will accentuate the depth and character of the spirit. A key part of the process will be using malt predominantly from our own floor maltings on-site, and we will be using direct-fired wash stills for the distillation. We plan to work with different phenol levels across the range, which will all have their own specific flavour profiles.”
Portintruan will see the past meet the future. Old-style techniques will combine with modern technology to improve process and quality. Sustainability is also high on the agenda.
Distillery Manager Georgie Crawford said: “Working within what is currently possible on Islay, we want to be as green and as responsible as we can. We are talking to the Islay Energy Trust, our fellow distillers on the island and suppliers to ensure we take all opportunities to be greener. We are using the latest technology to implement a heat loop for our water usage to ensure the maximum amount is recycled and reused with the heat recovered for other processes. We’re also using a bio diesel for our direct-fired stills which is the cleanest fuel we can currently source, and we’re building the distillery so that it can use hydrogen power once that is available.”
Portintruan will in effect be two distilleries in one sight. An experimental second distillery will enable the team to produce not only different Scotch whisky styles but also rum. Plans for the distillery site also include 14 houses for Islay families working at the distillery, a visitor’s centre, a bar and restaurant, a tasting room bothy overlooking the sea and a multi-purpose educational facility which will serve as a base for an apprentice programme to train the next generation of distillers.
The distillery name is announced in time for the 2022 Fèis Ìle. The festivalruns from Friday 27th May to Saturday 4th June and is set to welcome around 10,000 whisky-loving visitors to the island. The Elixir Distillers team will be setting up two cabinson the distillery site to welcome whisky enthusiasts wishing to see Portintruan in the earliest stages of its development.
Visitors will be able to peruse the distillery plans, look out over the site of the distillery and chat with members of the Elixir Distillers team over a dram or two.
Work on the site is underway with foundations about to commence, followed by steel work. Distillation is expected to being in early 2024.
For more on Elixir Distillers visit https://elixirdistillers.com/