The new Torabhaig Whisky Distillery brought about an exciting opportunity to bring new life to the derelict Category B listed quadrangular farm steading at Cnoc Uaine. The distillery was the ambitious vision of the late Sir Iain Noble, who initiated the project in 2002. The project was implemented and is now owned and operated by Mossburn Distillers.
The sequencing of the visitor experience has been key to the development of the project, offering a combination of contrasting spaces. A succession of routes unveils vistas and places of interests, for example, discovering the panorama of Cnoc Castle, the sound of Sleat and Mallaig seen from the green oak viewing platform, or arriving at the courtyard of the steading, enclosed by the exhibition space, the distillery, the café and the tasting room. The experience within the distillery is set out to follow the flow of water through the process. The visitor is offered a unique and intimate experience, surrounded by the impressive distillery equipment of vessels, stills and mash tuns.
The aesthetic of the project was driven by a desire to retain the character of the existing farm buildings despite the adaptation of the building to house a more industrialised process. The additions to the building remain sympathetic to the existing building but will stand as an honest modern addition to the listed steading.
The restoration of the steading was carried out in 2014. The extension and fit out of the distillery and the visitor centre took place from 2015 to 2017. The distillery produced its first spirit in January 2017 and opened to the public in April 2018.