Vor knapp einer Stunde hat Jean Donnay das faktische Ende seiner Gartbreck Distillery auf Islay in einem Text auf Facebook bekannt gegeben. Aus seiner Sicht scheiterte das Projekt an dem Unwillen von seinen Ex-Partnern von Hunter Laing, ein dringend benötigtes Stück Land an ihn zu verkaufen. Hunter Laing hat dies in einem Artikel in scotchwhisky.com anders dargestellt – man meinte dort, es wäre kein akzeptables Angebot vorgelegen (wir berichteten hier).
Hier der Text von Jean Donnay im Originalwortlaut:
THE END OF GARTBECK DISTILLERY
I must confirm that the announcement by Scotchwhisky.com of the end of Gartbreck Distillery is very sadly true information, the distillery cannot happen without the surrounding land bought by Hunter Laing on 6 July 2015. Yet, most people will have noted that in the Scotchwhisky.com publishing Hunter Laing is quoted with the following words from Stewart Laing :
„AS WE HAVE SAID, WE’RE HAPPY TO CONSIDER OFFERS FOR THE PROPERTY THAT ARE IN LINE WITH OUR VALUATION, AT WHICH POINT MEETINGS WITH ANY PROSPECTIVE BUYERS WOULD BE WORTHWHILE“.
For all the respect and consideration I have for Hunter Laing, it appears as being very surprising that they could have said such a thing. After I have tried without success for a year and a half to buy back the land, Stewart Laing sent me on 03/05/17 an official letter on behalf of the company which is a very clear and definite refusal to sell back the surrounding land, and which therefore means the final condemnation of Gartbreck Distillery :
„THE COMPANY CONFIRMS THAT THE LAND TO WHICH YOU REFER IS NOT FOR SALE. NO FURTHER CORRESPONDENCE ON THE SUBJECT WILL BE ENTERTAINED“.
It should be noted BTW that for several reasons the land is of virtually no value to anyone apart from Gartbreck Distillery : for anyone else, about one half of it cannot have more value than lamb pasturage on Islay, and for the other half it is simply amenity ground for the distillery with an even lower value.
I am currently travelling with limited connections but will soon be able to bring more information about this dramatic ending of Gartbreck Distillery in answering the legitimate questions I have received from people who face difficulties to understand the situation and how it could happen.
I meet myself difficulties to understand why the situation is as it is and naturally I very sincerely regret it.