April 17, 2013 – Moray Council has given planning approval for the proposed Chivas Brothers distillery slated to be built on the site of the old Imperial Distillery in Carron near Aberlour. Chivas executives selected the site in 2012, largely because of its existing water supply and long-standing permits for Imperial, then worked with local officials and nearby residents before filing the formal request for permits.

Allied Domecq closed Imperial in 1998, and had considered selling the site for housing development or other uses before the company was acquired by Chivas Brothers in 2005. Chivas pulled the site off the market several years ago, and there had long been rumors that Imperial might be revived until Chivas confirmed plans in 2012 to build a new distillery on the site. The old distillery’s buildings have already been demolished in preparation for construction of the new facility, which is expected to increase Chivas Brothers’ production capacity by around 5 million liters of spirit each year.

Moray Council member Douglas Ross, who chairs the council’s planning and regulatory services committee, praised the project in an interview with The Scotsman:

“Moray and Speyside are well known around the world for their contribution to the whisky industry and I’m sure this new distillery will be another welcome addition. Its location in Carron, replacing the former distillery, is very picturesque and it is pleasing that local people will now have a new distillery complex of a more modern contemporary design in their area.”

Chivas Brothers has not announced a timetable for the start of construction, but has indicated that the new distillery will not be named Imperial. While Chivas Brothers owns the rights to the name as a single malt, a blended Scotch whisky being sold in Asia by another company carries the Imperial name.

Links: Chivas Brothers