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GlenWyvis Distillery

Distillery Highlight Series: GlenWyvis Distillery 

GlenWyvis distillery is located in Dingwall, just north of Inverness. It is the ancestral home of my clan, the Davidson’s. Clan Davidson's ancestral seat was Tulloch Castle. Known for being adventurers and settlers of new lands such as America, Australia and New Zealand (another place I have called home). 

GlenWyvis distillery was founded in 2017 and is very uniquely placed as the world’s first community owned distillery. They produce a range of whiskies and gins. 

They have over 3000 members and anyone can become a part owner of the distillery for as little as £250. (easy as clicking here) A whopping 28% of GlenWyvis shareholders live close to the distillery in Dingwall, Scotland. The rest of the membership is distributed with 44% living elsewhere in Scotland, 16% in other parts of the UK, and the remaining 12% spread across 36 countries worldwide​. This shows strong support from the locals which is crucial to really excel in this industry. 

As well as being community owned they are also completely powered by renewable energy sources including their very own wind turbine, hydro-electric, solar panels and a biomass boiler fed by wood chips. It is safe to say they are industry leaders in this field and distilleries should follow the way!

The ownership and environmental credentials provide a stark contrast to the corporation whiskies of Scotland and serve as a great example of what independent whisky can do (See my article on indie bottlers here)

Unfortunately one of the initiation tests for any young distillery is an act of god in the form of a fire (Find out more here). This can very literally make or break them. Thankfully in Scotland, folk are made of plucky stuff. The fire in the biomass area of GlenWyvis distillery in 2019, gave birth to one of my favourite whiskies, their third release. As production was halted, they had to be creative to bring a whisky to the market. They chose a combination of 33 casks for the project: 24 First-fill Ex-Bourbon/Tennessee Whiskey, 2 First-fill Ex-Red Wine, 2 First-fill Ex-Moscatel, 2 First-fill Ex-Marsala & 4 Refill Hogsheads. 

Several of our guests have preferred this whisky to the others in the daily line-up, one customer from India describing it as tasting like “distilled honey mead” and a family from the US grinned about how it was “smoother than Bourbon”. Our guests enjoy the shorter finish, the honey-like lighter flavours and the complexity coming from the crazy combination of casks used. 

12,000 bottles in the batch, zero colouring, zero chill-filtration. The traditional pale golden colour stands out against its darker companions in the tasting line-up. 

The whisky is a great education point that a younger whisky is not a poorer whisky and can give so much. Applying 200 years of modern whisky production to new distilleries, as well as new technology provides so much opportunity to do greater in shorter time than the generations before. 

I look forward to visiting them in the future, becoming a shareholder and seeing what incredible whiskies they produce!

The settlers of Clan Davidson would be very happy to hear there is whisky in Dingwall once again.

Stay tuned for a blog post about the gin! 


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