Prince Charles, the Queen's eldest son and heir to the British throne, opened the new distillery building at the Glenlivet on Scotland's Speyside. The building houses a new mash tun, six hand crafted copper stills and eight traditional Oregon pine washbacks. It will mean a 75% increase in capacity, from 6m to 10m litres of alcohol.
Christian Porta, chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers, Pernod Ricard's premium scotch and gin division, said that the opening of the extension heralds the company's long term objective to catch and overtake William Grant & Son's Glenfiddich's leadership of the singe malt whisky category.
"We have an ambition in the long term - and don't ask me to quantify that - to be the number one best-selling global single malt scotch whisky," said Porta.
Glenlivet holds 9.3% of the category (Glenfiddich: 14.8%, The Macallan: 8.6%) but The Glenlivet is growing more strongly with +9.3% from 2005 to 2008. At more than 600,000 cases, it has just posted a 5% volume increase and 6% value increase in the nine months until the end of March 2010.
Porta assured journalists that stocks of Glenlivet are sufficient to maintain growth until the whisky, emanating from the new stills, is available.