Planning permission secured for Scotland’s most northerly mainland whisky distillery at John O’Groats

March 16, 2020

Planning permission has been secured for the construction of a new whisky production site at John O’Groats which will also become Scotland’s most northerly mainland distillery.  

The new micro-distillery, which is slated to open in 2021, is the brainchild of local husband and wife team Derek and Kerry Campbell, who secured £198,000 of funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to help bring their vision to life. We therefore look forward to working with our friends Derek and Kerry on this fantastic new development to further enhance the John O’Groats destination.  

The 32,670 square foot site will also house a visitor centre and bonded warehouse, and will replace Wolfburn and former titleholder Old Pulteney as Scotland’s most northerly mainland distillery, and overtake Dunnet Bay distillers as it’s most northern spirits production site. 

The as-yet-unnamed distillery will have the capacity to produce up to 60,000 litres of whisky each year and will be the first Scotch whisky distillery in John O’Groats for over 180 years, with National Archive of Scotland records showing that a whisky distillery founded by James Sutherland and John Gibson in 1826 operated in the coastal town until 1837. 

The project hopes to boost tourism in the area, with the venture also offering a new visitor attraction to tourists and providing those travelling from Land’s End to John O’Groats with an opportunity to toast their journey with a dram of Scotch whisky. 

The new distillery and visitor centre will encompass one large building which has been designed to showcase the two copper stills and traditional whisky-making process, while making the most of the “stunning views across the Pentland Firth” through large glass windows placed along the front of the building. 

A 1,500 square foot dunnage warehouse will also be built on the site to mature and store the Highland spirit. 

Founder Kerry Campbell said: “With a longstanding interest in the whisky industry, I began to truly appreciate quality Scotch whisky around 12 years ago and since then have developed a growing passion for Scotland’s national drink. 

“After many conversations with my husband around the idea of building our own distillery and creating our own whisky, I’m delighted that we are now one step closer to making these plans a reality having secured planning permission on our dream site at John O’Groats. 

“We believe the whisky we will produce will be unlike that from any other distillery, due to our coastal location in John O’Groats and the impact the local climate will have on our spirit as it matures. With traditional methods at the heart of our plans and an ambition to showcase whisky distilling in John O’Groats to the world, we are looking forward to opening the doors to our micro-distillery in due course.” 

To read the full article on the Scotsman food and drink website please click here 

For more information about staying at John O’Groats, please click here 

Article credit: Scotsman food and drink website.