Pernod Ricard’s Scotch whisky and premium gin business Chivas Brothers has opened a £25m operation on the banks of the River Spey in Scotland.

The Dalmunach Distillery inaugurated by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon opened at the site of a former silent distillery features 20% efficiency improvement over traditional distilleries.

The unit will have a capacity of producing up to 10 million litres per year, with the high quality Speyside style spirit used in bestselling blended whisky brands within Chivas Brothers’ portfolio, including Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s and Royal Salute.

Chivas Brothers chairman and CEO Laurent Lacassagne said: "Dalmunach Distillery is an excellent example of securing the future of the industry by respecting its heritage and it’s fitting that the remnants from the old Imperial Distillery have been built into an extremely efficient distillery with an architecturally stunning design.

"With the opening today, over the last three years we have expanded our malt whisky distillation by 17% as part of an annual capital expenditure commitment of £60m per annum. This investment continues and we have already begun work on significantly increasing capacity at The Glenlivet."

The distillery features eight unique copper pot stills, with a tulip shape used for the wash stills and an onion shape used for the spirit stills.

Sturgeon said: "Scotch Whisky is one of Scotland’s iconic brands and is in huge demand all over the globe due to the exceptional quality the industry produces. It is hugely important to the Scottish economy and its protected EU status means it has an unmatched international reputation."

Image: The new distillery will have an annual capacity of 10 million litres. Photo: courtesy of Chivas Brothers.