New Deeside whisky distillery launched

Twin River brand ambassador Ricky Chan, distiller Andrew Tulloch and brand ambassador Ryan Rhodes filling the first cask of Twin River Whisky
Twin River brand ambassador Ricky Chan, distiller Andrew Tulloch and brand ambassador Ryan Rhodes filling the first cask of Twin River Whisky

A new distillery has been launched on Deeside, thought to be the first in nearly 200 years.

Banchory-based Twin River Distillery comes from the team behind Deeside Brewery and is expanding its craft drink business with the production and laying down of its first casks of Twin River Whisky.

Twin River has recently invested more than £200,000 in the distillery to accommodate the production of its spirits, with plans for new premises in 2018.

£1.4 million will be invested to build a new brewery, distillery and visitor centre with taproom in the heart of Banchory.

The distillery uses the brewery’s by-product - grain neutral spirit - in the production of its craft drinks, to ensure a completely authentic offering.

Funds for the centre are going to be sought through both internal and external sources including private investment and crowdfunding, via the sale of early release octaves, which are 55 litre casks.

Demand has already been high prelaunch and the distillery has received a score of enquiries.

Ryan Rhodes has been recruited as brand director and joins Twin River with more than 12 years’ experience in the global bar and drinks trade, including a two-year stint in Singapore before joining Dusk Bar in Aberdeen as a bar manager in 2015.

He said: “To create a whisky, you firstly need a wash which is fundamentally an 8% beer.

“We’ve used our brewing knowledge to create a wash which includes chocolate malt before distilling it to cask strength and laying it down in 55L virgin charred American oak casks. This type of cask ages the whisky much quicker.”

The team has already achieved acclaim for its first prototype release gin, Twin River Gin, which debuted earlier this month at Sessions – Aberdeen’s first outdoor craft beer and gin festival.

To support the development and production of products, Andrew Tulloch has been appointed as a distiller.