Glenwyvis brings whisky back to Dingwall after almost a century

The world’s first 100 per cent community-owned whisky distillery is now officially open.

Dramtastic news

Glenwyvis distillery in the historic town of Dingwall in the Scottish Highlands has been made possible thanks to a highly-successful crowdfunding campaign which has attracted more than 3,000 investors to date.

The official opening of the distillery was the culmination of a two-year push to create a whisky plant that is not only community-owned but also 100 per cent powered by renewable energy.

The new project aims to re-instate the iconic craft of whisky distilling back into the area some 90 years after the last local distillery closed.

Dingwall has been a centre for whisky distilling for centuries. The original Ferintosh Distillery was established just east of Dingwall by the Forbes of Culloden family in 1690.

Ferintosh is one of the oldest recorded distilleries and produced a whisky much loved throughout Scotland. Indeed, it was a favourite of Scotland’s great bard Rabbie Burns who lamented: “Thee, Ferintosh! O sadly lost! Scotland lament free coast to coast!” … on its closure in 1784.

Two other local distilleries, Ben Wyvis in Dingwall and Glenskiach in nearby Evanton, both closed in 1926.

“From the outset, we have envisaged the project as much more than a distillery. We recognised this was an opportunity for all social investors to help reinvigorate the town of Dingwall and build on our whisky heritage through community-ownership,” said John McKenzie, GlenWyvis managing director and founder.

“We have undertaken a massive outreach programme to build interest and investment in the project both locally and further afield. Our aim has always been to produce both high-quality Scottish whisky and craft gin – and to attract more visitors to the area.”

  • Full feature in Issue No.12