A major distiller has unveiled its $150 million malt whisky distillery in China – based on how we do it in Scotland.
Pernod Ricard has officially unveiled The Chuan Malt Whisky Distillery in Emeishan. The announcement celebrates Pernod Ricard’s achievement as the first international spirits and wines group to establish a fully operational malt whisky distillery in China.
And Pernod Ricard – owners of whisky brands such as the Glenlivet, Royal Salute and Ballantine’s – has used its Scottish know-how to arrive in the growing market.
Philippe Guettat, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Asia, emphasised: ‘Pernod Ricard has been privileged to play our part in China’s dynamic development for over 30 years. We consider it our mission to bring to life the most iconic malt whisky made in China with pride, leveraging the expertise we have as a market leader.
‘Our master distiller, Yang Tao has been working with our heritage master distillers in Scotland to bring the most authentic whisky making know-how into China, while leveraging the pristine water source of Emei, renowned for its utmost quality. We are marking a significant milestone on this journey and we look forward to sharing our vision and single malt whisky from The Chuan Malt Whisky Distillery with whisky lovers around the world.”
Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky business of Pernod Ricard, has been involved right from the start and throughout the development of The Chuan. In particular, Sandy Hyslop, Chivas Brothers’ director of blending and inventory, has worked closely with the distillery team on matters ranging from cask selection and spirit quality control to inventory management and forecasting.
Sandy said: ‘I’m proud to have been part of a cross-continental team bringing some of the best minds in Scotch malt whisky distillation to bear in the creation of The Chuan. It’s been a privilege to share our expertise with the brilliant new team in China and I’m looking forward to tasting the first malt whisky crafted at this ground-breaking distillery.’
From its architecture to its name, The Chuan is deeply rooted in the Chinese philosophy of dichotomy in which two elements exist in opposition yet complement each other. The distillery’s name is a matrimony of two exquisite characters steeped in the local terroir and culture, with the ‘rich and layered’ meaning of (the) and ‘river’ in (chuan) from Sichuan. Together, The Chuan celebrates the duality between the mountain and water, strength and softness of our whisky and the origin and outcome of our malt whisky distillery.
Pernod Ricard aims to establish The Chuan Distillery as a cultural icon for Sichuan and China that brings unparalleled sophistication and conviviality. Designed by award-winning Chinese architectural firm Neri&Hu, the distillery is built with a timeless architecture that strikes a harmonious balance with the landscape, a design that embodies the refined sense of artistry embedded in whisky-making and blending.
The site will also be home to a permanent art programme starting with Fractal Structure – Infinite Shan Shui, an installation by Zhan Wang, one of China’s most celebrated contemporary artists. The sculpture is created from the distillery site’s natural elements to pay tribute to our terroir. With the visitor centre set to open in 2023, the distillery aims to draw two million tourists in its first decade, reinforcing Sichuan’s cultural influence and promoting the local economy.
Guettat said: ‘From its refined products to design, The Chuan Malt Whisky Distillery will set new standards for single malt whisky and immersive experiences for both Sichuan and China. We look forward to bringing The Chuan and the spirit of conviviality from China to the world.’
A virtual tour of The Chuan Malt Whisky Distillery can be taken by visiting HERE.