An Aberdeenshire Councillor celebrates release of new special bottling of Glen Garioch called Renaissance.
Oldmeldrum Councillor Paul Johnston has particular pleasure in seeing the release of the new Glen Garioch whisky because his first election campaign to Aberdeenshire council 19 years ago featured the concerns for the future of the Burgh’s famous town centre distillery.
“There were concerns for what would happen to Glen Garioch back in 1995 and there were even proposals in 1996 to convert distillery buildings to flats and build houses surrounding it. That would have been its death knell.”
Councillor Johnston worked for a major wine and spirits retailer and had been inspired by some bottles of 1960 and 1966 special bottlings from the distillery, one of which received the world’s highest award in an International Spirit Competition.
” When seeing suggestions that the distillery might close, but at the same time knowing that it could produce the world’s best, I wrote to the international drinks giant and parent company, Suntory. I enlisted the help of local MP Malcolm Bruce who also wrote asking for them not just to keep Glen Garioch open, but develop it.” said Paul.
“Suntory to their great credit agreed with us about the historic importance and quality potential of this fabulous small distillery.”
Suntory through their Scottish malt whisky group, Morrison Bowmore distillers, reopened the distillery and have since gone on to develop the visitor centre as well as provide considerable investment in the Glen Garioch brand. The investment has seen a growing number of awards and accolades for the Malt Whisky in the International Wine and Spirit Competition. This year the distillery won four medals.
The release of Renaissance, the first of four bottlings of single malt, is from casks produced at the newly reopened distillery from 1997.
” The town of Oldmeldrum is immensely proud of its award winning town centre distillery. The medal winning whiskies and this Renaissance bottling are testament to making the right decision back in 1997 to reopen. You can taste the success in every dram. It’s visitor centre today is also in the running for best distillery visitor centre in Scotland this year”
Councillor Paul Johnston, has written to Mr. Nobutada Saji, President of the Suntory Group, to praise his predecessors foresight and thank the firm for its decisions and hope for continuing development of the tradition of Glen Garioch.