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Original Speyside distillery to be reopened

02 April 2012

One of Scotland’s most distinctive malt whiskies is to be relaunched in 2013 as a premium brand aimed at aspirational connoisseurs around the world. The Tamdhu Distillery, on Speyside, whose Gaelic name means “the little dark hill” was previously owned by the Edrington Group.

The distillery was ‘mothballed’ in 2010 but is to be given a new lease of life after being recently purchased by Ian Macleod Distillers which has tasked Glasgow-based design agency, Good, to devise a modern brand identity for this iconic malt.

Good, is aiming to use Tamdhu’s history and traditions to create a distinctive identity that will appeal to a contemporary, affluent global consumer.

The Tamdhu distillery, designed by the renowned distillery engineer and architect of the time Charles Doig, dates from 1897.

Its production capacity was trebled between 1972-1975 and it currently has three wash stills and three spirit stills, capable of producing 4million litres of alcohol per year.

Keith Forbes and Chris Lumsden, co-directors of Good, and Darren Adams, the creative lead on the project, visited the distillery and steeped themselves in its history to ensure they were capable of devising a brand image that reflected its illustrious past.

“Tamdhu was one of the first Speyside distilleries. It was founded by a consortium of leading local business entrepreneurs who put a lot of money into building what, at the time, was a cutting edge facility,” says Lumsden.

“It was a highly ambitious venture to produce the finest whisky they possibly could using every modern technique available to them. It’s that spirit of entrepreneurialism and innovation that we want to reflect in the new brand image.

Forbes said: “The chance to work on a brand of Tamdhu’s quality and provenance, but with pretty much a clean slate, doesn’t happen very often.

“It’s a huge responsibility but we are relishing the challenge and are looking forward to the journey of building, what we know will be an outstanding premium global brand.”

The Good team was chosen following their other work on developing a refreshed positioning and packaging for Glengoyne, Ian Macleod’s other outstanding premium malt distillery. This exciting and exceptional repackage will be launched later this year.

Iain Weir, the company’s marketing director, said: “Good came highly recommended and have delivered on their promises - a crystal clear, compelling positioning for Tamdhu that, as a team, we all embraced without hesitation.”

“As we get entrenched in the process of evolving our new packaging, the detail, reasoning and craft that Good are delivering will, without doubt, offer long term premium value to the Tamdhu brand.”


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