GlenWyvis is set up to produce a ‘Highland style’ yet green, grassy newmake with long fermentations and plenty of copper contact. Maturation in first-fill and refill American oak will add a sweet roundness to the final whisky, while a proportion of Sherry-matured spirit will provide a richer depth.
Small in size, GlenWyvis claims to be a ‘craft’ distillery, but its redeeming feature is its 100% self sufficiency. Powered by its own wind turbine, hydro scheme, solar panels and biomass boiler, the distillery operates completely off-grid (the turbine in fact belongs to MD John McKenzie, who takes GlenWyvis’ draff for his cows as payment). It even has its own electric car and at some point in the future will offer visitors tours in its electric bus.
GlenWyvis can also claim to be Scotland’s first community-owned distillery, with a list of over 3,000 shareholders from the local Dingwall area and beyond.
When John McKenzie retired from the army in 2002 he returned to his hometown of Dingwall and became a commercial helicopter pilot, flying VIPs and film crews across Scotland. It was during these many flights he came upon the idea of opening his own whisky distillery.
Many clients were headed to the golf course, or remote distilleries on Jura, Islay or Orkney for exclusive tours, during which McKenzie learned to appreciate whisky.
With a dream to breathe life back into the rural Dingwall community, in 2011 he began looking into the possibility more seriously. McKenzie already owned several acres of farmland, as well as a wind turbine, and having worked on the board of a local wind energy cooperative, he ban considering how to crowdfund Scotland’s first community-owned distillery.
Planning permission for GlenWyvis distillery – an amalgamation of the lost distillery names Ben Wyvis and Glenskiach, both of which closed in 1926 – came in 2014, on McKenzie’s 40th birthday.
The following year McKenzie launched GlenWyvis Gin (produced at Saxa Vord distillery in Unst) from a helicopter, the label for which carried details about how investors could get involved with the new distillery.
On 16 April 2016 GlenWyvis launched its first crowdfunding campaign. Its goal was to reach £1.5m, but by the close it had reached just over £2m.
The build began in January 2017, and was completed by November the same year.
GlenWyvis distillery officially opens on 30 November 2017, and begins its commissioning process (running the mash, fermenters and stills) in the next few weeks.
While some shareholders will receive a bottle of three-ear-old whisky, its first commercially-available single malt won’t be released ‘until the whisky reaches optimum maturity’.
CAPACITY (MLPA) i
CONDENSER TYPE i
Shell & Tube
FERMENTATION TIME i
FILLING STRENGTH i
GRIST WEIGHT (T) i
HEAT SOURCE i
Steam from a woodchip boiler
MALT SPECIFICATION i
MALT SUPPLIER i
Bairds. Barley sourced through
MASH TUN TYPE i
NEW-MAKE STRENGTH i
SPIRIT STILL CHARGE (L) i
SPIRIT STILL SHAPE i
SPIRIT STILL SIZE (L) i
On-site traditional dunnage
WASH STILL CHARGE (L) i
WASH STILL SHAPE i
WASH STILL SIZE (L) i
WASHBACK CHARGE (L) i
WASHBACK SIZE (L) i
WASHBACK TYPE i
WATER SOURCE i
WORT CLARITY i
YEAST TYPE i
Pressed Distiller’s Yeast
The path less well travelled
Nestled beneath the sprawling mass of Ben Wyvis mountain in the Scottish Highlands, GlenWyvis Distillery was established in 2015. The idea was to unite the community of Dingwall through the creation of a distillery owned by local people.
Dingwall’s last whisky distillery closed in 1926. After a 90 year absence, GlenWyvis revived the town’s lost distilling tradition, and made its own history in 2016 by running a record-breaking open share offer. More than 3,000 like-minded people invested in GlenWyvis to create the first ever 100% community-owned distillery. It was an incredible response to an extraordinary idea.
We are inspired by our beautiful landscape, and motivated to preserve it. GlenWyvis is a pioneer of sustainable distilling; wind, hydro, solar and biomass energy power our operations
Thank you again to all members who attended our AGM last week both in person and online.
At the meeting 2 new volunteer Directors were elected to the Board and we’d like to give them a proper introduction and a warm welcome!
Along with his wife, Karl runs a couple of local businesses in the Highlands. The first and main business is Highland Hog Roasts, an outdoor catering company founded 18 years ago. Karl also runs a small farm in Cannich where he rears livestock and tends to his herd of alpacas. Being a Highland business owner, Karl brings a diverse skill set to the table that will assist the distillery in growing and continuing to be in the hearts of the shareholders and the local community.
Meeghan has worked in many areas of the drinks industry. From buyer to importer & exporter, and from wine maker, brewer of sake and beer to distiller, Meeghan has seen it all. She has run operations for two distilleries, one in London and one in Scotland and helped set up two bonded warehouses. Born in Montreal, Canada, Meeghan has a vast network of connections and believes her international experiences and language skills can help further the GlenWyvis brand.
FAREWELL TO TWO FACES
As we gladly welcome two new individuals to GlenWyvis Distillery, it comes with great sadness to say farewell to two long standing members of our team, David Graham and Josh Fraser.
David has dedicated a substantial amount of his own, precious, time to GlenWyvis over the last 4 years as our Chairman, providing exceptional knowledge and ideas that have, undoubtedly, contributed greatly to the success of our Distillery!
Josh has been with GlenWyvis since the start. Joining our team straight from school, Josh developed his career throughout the years and achieved his well deserved role of Office Manager. It goes without saying that Josh has been an imperative part of shaping GlenWyvis Distillery to what it is today.
Some of the team gathered last week to wish both David and Josh the absolute best for the future!
AND HELLO TO A FEW MORE!
With Josh moving to pastures new, we have a golden opportunity to join the team here at GlenWyvis. For the immediate future, we're looking for someone to join our production team and help run our stills, make our gin and a little bit of everything in between. Candidates with actual distillery experience will be preferred, but we're willing to train, and primarily we're looking for someone not afraid to get their hands dirty!
You can view the complete job description here and either apply there or send your CV directly to firstname.lastname@example.org, referencing 'Distillery Operator' in the title.
BATCH 01/19 WHISKY
We are excited to announce that our next annual release of whisky is anticipated to be available from August! Our next bottling, Batch 01/19, will be a vintage release from a very exclusive year. Make sure to keep an eye on our socials over the coming weeks as we will soon be revealing hints of the new packaging, tasting notes and the interesting casks used that make Batch 01/19 so fantastic!
You may remember in our last Newsletter, we asked for local members to volunteer to take part in a photoshoot that will be used to promote our next bottling. If you are interested, please contact Rhianna at email@example.com and she will be able to provide you with more information.
GLENWYVIS ARRIVES IN JAPAN
We are delighted to say that the first shipment of GlenWyvis whisky has arrived in Japan! Working closely with the team at Rudder Ltd, the first pallets left the distillery nearly 2 months ago but have now safely arrived in Tokyo. Bottles will start being distributed throughout the country as well as being able to be bought directly here.
Keep an eye out for more countries selling GlenWyvis whisky this year!
It has been a busy couple of weeks attending fun events, such as Robbie’s Drams Whisky An’ A’ That Festival 2023 and Ness Gin Fest 2023. With Summer having officially begun, it is set to be a fast-paced season, out and about, attending events and samplings where we get the chance to showcase our wonderful Whisky and Gins.
Some dates for your diaries are Saturday 1st July, where we will be attending the Scottish National Whisky Festival at Eden Court, Inverness. To follow on from this, Saturday 15th July is an exciting day as GlenWyvis Distillery will be present at WildWoodz Summer Market, as well as Inverness Highland Games. We hope to see some of you over the Summer season!
Click here to buy Batch 01/19
BATCH 01/19 is here!
The wait is over! We are delighted to announce that Batch 01/19 is now available to purchase directly on our website!
A vatting of five different cask types, our latest annual release is from our very limited 2019 vintage, using a selection of wine casks to explore the floral, fruity qualities that made last year's release so popular. Explore it more on the store page, including a full cask breakdown, tasting notes and fermentation times (if you like that sort of thing).
Please note, shipping is currently restricted to UK addresses only. Limited international shipping will be available through select retail partners.
We always appreciate hearing from you, so we encourage you to crack a bottle open and let us know what you think! Tag your dram on social media and we'll be sharing everyone's feedback while stock lasts.
£59.95 incl. VAT, no bottle limit for members. 5% of all online sales go towards the GoodWill fund. For trade enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org