Prompt for Islay distilleries from Swedish company planning Orkney distillery

Sweden’s Grythyttan is working up its plans to start a distillery in Orkney – the Longship Distillery.

The incentive for this is the growing international market share of single malt whisky, at the high end of the market and as opposed to the blends.

Grythyttan’s plans include a very good idea. As well as establishing a Visitor Centre at Longship – which is usual – the company plans to have a whisky school there.

This is a sharp prompt to the Islay single malt distilleries.

Why would they not collaborate in establishing an Islay whisky school?

This would draw students from the whisky trade.

The test, as always in Argyll time is the capacity to compress the distance between the idea and the reality – a gap often never addressed.

If such a wjhisky school was set up b the industry on the island, with special and first class residential accommodation and dining, it would prove a major attraction for certificated experiences amongst young corporates in the City of London; and amongst the wider business community.

If it offered optional access to some of the outdoor challenges and experiences Islay is already well equipped to offer – like golf, cycling, walking, birding, sea kayaking, sailing, wildlife tours and coasteering – what could beat it?

The distilleries together could make the investment this would require – it would not be particularly intimidating; and they and the island’s resources for visitors, could put this together well and quickly.

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7 Responses to Prompt for Islay distilleries from Swedish company planning Orkney distillery

  1. So, lets just get this right – you want someone (anyone)to start an Islay drinking school, for the encouragement of the pleasurable/copious consumption of alcohol. Then when “fu” encourage them to make with blunt/sharp pointy things or other similarly dangerous sporting devices. At some point the Norwegians may be asked to display their ability to serve and hold strong drink in competition with the locals/visitors? Apart from this FA blog site have you discussed this with our learned and wise Argyll and Bute councilors – If not then I suggest you do, they’re good at spotting and ironing out flaws in business proposals? Happy New year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

    • What are you on about? I don’t think Islay is renowned for a combination of whisky and “sharp, pointy things”. Perhaps you’ve been in London too long, where I am informed the above combination is more popular.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  2. I think this is a great idea. Is this not something our highly paid council officials could investigate?

    I don’t know how Gavin Davies is getting on at the Machrie but it occurs to me that Islay has all the makings of a maritime Davos.

    I’m sure AS would be ideal to host international economists. Islay would offer Scottish hospitality at its best.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  3. It’s not exactly a new idea, several distilleries on Islay have done it before: Bruichladdich had the academy, Kilchoman also offered something similar for a while. Problem is, it’s quite labour intensive if done right, not that easy to maintain with the limited staff most distilleries have now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    • A collaborative effort means shared costs – and benefits.
      And if we’re scared off hiring a few extra staff to resource what could be a clear winner and a major draw for the island, it confirms the worst fears about Argyll’s lack of enterprise and ambition.
      It doesn’t surprise us that Bruichladdich had an academy – which must have been under Mark Reynier, by a very long way the most inventive branding and marketing mind we’ve come across.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

      • Just keep in mind that with the exception of Kilchoman all those decisions are now made far away from Islay, somewhere in London, France or even Japan. Like it or not, I doubt they have an awful lot of interest in Argyll’s success.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  4. Pingback: A week in whisky: record exports, whisky school and Mark Twain - Braw Spirit

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