Story

The path less well travelled

Nestled beneath the sprawling mass of Ben Wyvis mountain in the Scottish Highlands, GlenWyvis Distillery was established in 2015. The idea was to unite the community of Dingwall through the creation of a distillery owned in-part by local people.

Dingwall’s last whisky distillery closed in 1926. After a 90 year absence, GlenWyvis revived the town’s lost distilling tradition, and made its own history in 2016 by running a record-breaking open share offer. More than 3,000 like-minded people invested in GlenWyvis to create the first ever 100% community-owned distillery. It was an incredible response to an extraordinary idea.

We are inspired by our beautiful landscape, and motivated to preserve it. GlenWyvis is pioneer of sustainable distilling; wind, hydro, solar and biomass energy power our operations.

Thousands of people have come together to create GlenWyvis. Together, we are all part of one community. If we can create something that inspires even the smallest of like-minded actions, where people unite behind a common cause so they too can achieve their dreams and build a more sustainable world, then we will have realised ours — a local spirit that inspires the world.

John Mckenzie, Founder

Our Team

Timeline

  • 1690

    Across the Cromarty Firth from Dingwall, the famous Ferintosh Privilege is granted to local landowner Duncan Forbes. He is allowed to distil whisky on his land duty-free.

  • 1784

    The Ferintosh Privilege is revoked, ending almost 100 years of mass whisky production on the Black Isle. Robert Burns laments ‘Thee, Ferintosh! O sadly lost! Scotland lament frae coast to coast!’

  • 1879

    Dingwall ironmonger, agricultural merchant and town Baillie D.G. Ross builds Ben Wyvis Distillery. It takes 90 men nine months to blast away the Dingwall hillside to make way for the site.

  • 1896

    Glenskiach Distillery opens in Evanton, a few miles north of Dingwall. The distillery was designed by famous distillery architect of the Victorian age, Charles Doig.

  • 1926

    As a result of global economic depression, both Ben Wyvis and Glenskiach distilleries close. Glenskiach is soon demolished, however Ben Wyvis remains standing until the 1990s.

  • 1965

    Invergordon Distillery starts distilling Ben Wyvis single malt whisky within its grain distillery complex. Most of the single malt goes into blended whiskies.

  • 1973

    A crash in the US economy impacts the Scottish whisky industry and Invergordon ceases production of Ben Wyvis. The stills are later repurposed by Glengyle Distillery in Campbelltown.

  • 2015

    GlenWyvis Distillery in Dingwall is established. Founder John Mckenzie was inspired by the area’s rich whisky history, and embarks upon raising local support for the project.

  • 2016

    GlenWyvis launches its first share offer, which raises £2.6 million in 77 days. 2,200 people invest in the project, breaking records and making national headlines. Construction of the distillery begins.

  • 2017

    GlenWyvis opens its second share offer, and 1,000 more people invest in the project. The distillery build is finished in November, and Duncan Tait joins the team as Distillery Manager.

  • 2018

    GlenWyvis Distillery starts both whisky and gin production. GlenWyvis Whisky is laid down in casks, and GoodWill Gin enters the market.