Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal officially opened a brand new bottling hall designed to cater for today’s luxury Scotch whisky and gin consumers during a visit to Renfrewshire.
The Prestige Hall was completed last year as part of an annual £40m investment in operations by Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard. It was created to facilitate the hand-packaging of the company’s highest-value products, including those in the Chivas Regal, Royal Salute, The Glenlivet, Beefeater and Ballantine’s ranges, as well as some limited edition single malts.
The process in the Prestige Hall is much more hand-crafted, quiet and bespoke than in a typical bottling hall, drawing on the skills of specially-selected employees to ensure the highest possible standards to meet the specification expected by the expanding group of luxury whisky and gin consumers around the world.
During the visit, Laurent Lacassagne, Chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers, and Alister McIntosh, Manufacturing Director, invited Her Royal Highness to tour the North and Prestige bottling halls to meet key employees and unveil a commemorative plaque.
While on the visit, Her Royal Highness was able to witness the company’s full range of bottling facilities from high-speed, high-volume bottling lines to the detailed processes carried out by hand for the high-value expressions packaged in the new Prestige Hall. Employees presented to Her Royal Highness included current and former apprentices, family members who work together on the site and employees who have long service exceeding 20 years.
Speaking at the event, Mr Lacassagne said: “It was an incredible honour to receive this visit by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, and one that our employees will remember for years to come. We are very proud of our state-of-the-art bottling facilities here in Paisley, and the teams that run them, so it was a pleasure to be able to present these to such a prestigious guest.
“The Prestige Hall is a prime example of how we have evolved our business to ensure it is clearly aligned for the future. The long term prospects for premium Scotch whisky and gin remain very good and this investment will continue to help us appeal to discerning consumers all over the world with the very highest quality products.”
The completion of the Prestige Hall is part of a sustained programme of investment by Chivas Brothers in its operations. Other recent major investments have included the re-opening of its Glen Keith distillery in June this year, completing a 25% expansion in the company’s malt distillation capacity, and the £10 million expansion of The Glenlivet Distillery in 2010 – increasing capacity there by 75%. The company is also building a new distillery at Carron on the River Spey, to be completed in 2015.