New water of life with the Benbecula Distillery

Construction has begun on the new Benbecula Distillery, creating local jobs and adding to the widening range of Hebridean drinks production.
The new site is expected to be open to the public next spring.The new site is expected to be open to the public next spring.
The new site is expected to be open to the public next spring.

Spearheaded by South Uist father and son duo Angus A MacMillan and Angus E MacMillan, Benbecula Distillery will pay homage to the island’s rich maritime heritage.

These include a storytelling corner, a seafood bar and a Lighthouse offering 360 degree views over Benbecula looking as far as Skye, Harris and the Monach Isles.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Construction and installation of equipment on the Gramsdale site is to be completed by the end of this year with production due to commence early in 2023 and doors opening to the public in the spring.

Local contractor MacInnes Bros Ltd have been awarded the contract for the build phase and this will be augmented by suppliers of distillery equipment from within the Highlands and Islands.

The new distillery is set to offer gin and whisky from Benbecula, adding to the young drinks market which is flourishing throughout the Hebrides with quality products emerging from Harris, North Uist, Barra and Tiree.

Benbecula Distillery has the ambition to be producing 500,000 bottles of whisky per year and it is estimated that this will create an initial 10-12 local jobs.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The economic development and repopulation of Uist is what drives the creators. Angus A said “The idea was born out of realising the opportunity here for not only a strong market for islands-produced drinks but also the local economic impact this can make by creating good quality jobs which will support and attract young families.”

Joanna Peteranna, Area Manager at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said “This project will bring much-needed high quality and secure jobs to Benbecula. The plans include green energy technology, which should future proof the business in terms of Scotland’s net zero targets.“It will also add to the other distillery developments in the Outer Hebrides and will help establish a whisky trail through the islands, which will be attractive for visitors. This is a fantastic project that will add a significant boost to the Outer Hebrides tourism experience”.

Ahead of opening the Benbecula Distillery, the MacMillan family are launching an independent blending and bottling company, MacMillan Spirits Co., who intend to “Seek out good things to drink and then put them in bottles for you”.

Due to launch in the coming weeks, their first output will include Machair Gin made with Wild Angelica root, picked from the Uist machairs. The Macmillans hired a forager from Dumfries to identify the locally available plant best suited to producing a distinctive gin – and he came up with Wild Angelica, which is available in abundance.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There will also be a Molucca Golden Rum which promises “a complex full flavour” and Wheelhouse Single Malt Whisky, an eight year old from Caol Ila distillery on Islay, described as “layered and robust with a sweet smokiness and smooth finish” – the characteristics which the distillery’s own whisky will be aspiring to.

Further information about the new distillery, as well as the early products can be found at