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Work starts on new distillery

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By Fiona Reid
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Work starts on new distillery

CONSTRUCTION is underway on Scotland’s newest whisky distillery - in Moffat.

Dark Sky Spirits has broken ground on a 17 acre site on the edge of the town and it is expected to open in spring next year, although hard hat tours will start later this year.

The new facility will offer tours, tastings, workshops, and a well-stocked whisky bar, and will create a raft of new jobs.

Nick and Erin Bullard have been pursuing their Moffat plan since 2018. Their vision is to “create unique Scotch whiskies with a focus on dynamic flavour and authenticity” and they will have the country’s only direct wood-fired still, with the fuel to be sourced locally.

They already have a blended malt, The Moffat, and future offerings will include the Doonhamer and the Muckle Toon.

Distillation will commence early next year, although the first new bottle of single malt whisky will take several years to reach its first customer.

The initial malt, whose name is yet to be revealed, will mature for seven years before it will be tasted. In the interim, the Bullards plan to continue their whisky blending, whilst developing other products, including spirts and liqueurs.

Nick said this week: “We live and breathe Moffat. We want to focus on community. We believe in having genuine, high-quality interactions

with people, telling the story of our culture and heritage and exploring the flavours of our local area.

“Each whisky we make is developed in consultation with the community it represents, and this approach is at the heart of Dark Sky Spirits. Each dram, each experience reflects who we are as a community and as a region.”

Not only will it be a distillery, the owners’ vision is for a ‘whisky destination’ and they also want to incorporate a makers-marketplace hub for local, artisan producers to work, innovate and share ideas and skills with likeminded crafts people.

Nick said: “We call our site Hearthlands, the hearth being the traditional focal point of every home and community, and this is central to who we are.

“Our mission is to create products that spark conversations and build friendships. Just as over the hearth, our distillery will be a place for people to find kin folk, share ideas and form lasting relationships. A community supporting the community of Moffat.”

Wishing them well, Ross McAuley, CEO of the South of Scotland Destination Alliance, said: “We are excited to welcome Dark Sky Spirits Ltd to the tourism map with their new distillery. This important new visitor attraction and community hub will be a stunning addition.”

And South of Scotland Enterprise chief executive Jane Morrison-Ross added: “Scotland’s brewing and distilling sectors play a vital role in the Scottish economy, and we are delighted Dark Sky Spirits are opening a new distillery in Moffat.

“With a strong focus on the local community, Moffat Distillery will create jobs, generate tourism, and create links to agriculture and wider supply chains across the South of Scotland. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Dark Sky Spirits and supporting them on their exciting journey ahead.”

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