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Blackwoods returns to Scotland in Ardgowan deal

Blackwoods: currently distilled in England

A gin originally distilled on Shetland but now produced in England is returning to Scotland through a deal with a whisky distillery.

Ardgowan Distillery, 30 miles west of Glasgow, has announced plans for a new bespoke gin centre at its Inverkip site following a loan of up to £5 million from UK drinks specialists Distil, owner of Blackwoods gin.

An initial tranche of £3m has been approved by shareholders of the London-listed firm, with the potential of an additional follow-on loan of up to £2m.

The new loan funds will support the distillery’s development until its first whisky matures in 2028.

Ardgowan will begin building a £400,000 custom gin plant this year using existing buildings on the site to create a home for Blackwoods. The first gin will come on stream next year and the facility will create a small number of jobs.

In June the distillery received an £8.4 million equity investment from Roland Grain, which enables Ardgowan to commence construction of its one million litre single malt distillery and visitor centre, due to start production in 2023. 

Roland-Grain-and-Ardgowan

Roland Grain: investor

Don Goulding, executive chairman at Distil said: “Creating a home for Blackwoods has been a longstanding goal for us to help bring the brand to life, and we believe that Ardgowan is the perfect place to do this.

“Our deal with Ardgowan and the Blackwoods facilities will provide the opportunity to add significant growth to the business in both the long and short term by allowing us to accelerate new product development across our existing portfolio as well as creating new brands, driving the business forward into the next stage of development.”

Blackwoods was originally made in the Blackwood distillery in Scotland, but is now made in a distillery run by the Palmer family that has been making gin since 1920.

The original distillery, designed to produce whisky, went into administration in May 2008, but a new company, Catfirth, was established to continue the whisky business and took over the remaining stocks.

The stocks of the vodka and gin brands were sold to a company called Blavod Extreme Spirits, now owned by Distil.



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