Mackay Smith and Donald MacKenzie The Islay Boys Laggan Distillery Islay Scotland

Mackay Smith and Donald MacKenzie, owners of independent Scotch whisky bottlers The Islay Boys and sister company Islay Ales, have been granted planning permission to build the island of Islay’s 12th whisky distillery at Glenegedale in Laggan Bay.

They both hail from the Rhinns of Islay and after launching The Islay Boys Ltd in 2016, they purchased the island’s only brewery, Islay Ales, in 2018. The Islay Boys produce a range of single malt and blended malt Scotch whiskies under brands such as Flatnöse, Bårelegs and Picti.

flatnose scotch whisky the islay boys

In order to house both The Islay Boys and Islay Ales under one roof, the owners have opted to build new premises at Glenegedale, opposite Islay Airport.

Donald has told the Ileach, the independent newspaper for Islay and Jura: “We are delighted to announce that the planning application for our site at Glenegedale on Laggan Bay has been approved by Argyll and Bute Council.”

“We are now able to advance with our plans to build a brewery building to house a brand new brewkit to brew our Islay Ales, and to build a distillery building to house a traditional, double-distillation Islay whisky distillery, the twelfth on Islay, baptised ‘Laggan Bay Distillery’.”

“We are also particularly delighted to announce a partnership with family owned, Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd, to help bring this new distillery to fruition.”

the islay boys laggan bay distillery

The distillery and brewery site will cover approximately two hectares, opposite Islay Airport. It is situated less than a mile from Islay’s longest beach, the Big Strand in Laggan Bay, from which the distillery takes its name.

This brings the number of existing and planned Islay Distilleries to 12:

  1. Bowmore (1779)
  2. Ardbeg (1815)
  3. Laphroaig (1815)
  4. Lagavulin (1816)
  5. Port Ellen (1825, closed 1983 and due to reopen 2023)
  6. Caol Ila (1846)
  7. Bruichladdich (1881)
  8. Bunnahabhain (1881)
  9. Kilchoman (2005)
  10. Ardnahoe (2017)
  11. Portintruan (expected 2024)
  12. Laggan Bay (TBC)

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