The portable 13m x 13m pioneering development is set to transform spirit production around the globe - allowing companies the flexibility of being able to transport their plant and make spirit wherever they choose.
The skid-mounted movable distillery - which has a modular design and is bolted together in blocks - is to be shipped to Japan to be used in the manufacture of the water of life in Asia, where demand is soaring. At maximum capacity it can produce 400,000 litres of pure alcohol every year.
Forsyths’ senior project engineer Kenny Gilchrist said: “We predict this will be a game changer in the global spirits industry.
“It’s going to give distillers flexibility to make a quality product wherever they want as long as they have access to water, power and a licence. In theory, providing you have those key elements, you could distil in the desert, jungle or Arctic wastes.”
Although the concept of the mobile distillery has existed within the company for several years, it was brought from concept to reality by Managing Director Richard E Forsyth, drawing on the expertise gleaned - as well as the cutting-edge technology used - in the oil sector.
Spending years honing the idea with a small team of Forsyths’ engineers and draughtsmen, including Mr Gilchrist, the easy-to-assemble modular malt unit has already been successfully tested in Buckie, Moray
“It’s easy to move and not too big but still makes a lot of spirit,” continued Kenny Gilchrist.
“It is also an extremely cost-effective method for spirit production and can be used in a wide variety of situations. It’s common, for example, for established distilleries to temporarily halt production when expanding. In that instance, production demands can continue to be met as this unit takes over whilst necessary upgrades are made.”
The self-contained unit was developed using 3D software technology and contains milling, mashing, fermentation and distillation equipment. Forsyths’ hand-made traditional pot stills are widely regarded as being at the very top end of the market. They are made in much the same way as they were when Forsyths started in 19th century with the craft being handed down through the generations.
After being divided into eight shipping containers and three crates, the unit will now be shipped to a soon-to-be opened distillery in Tokyo, Japan in the coming weeks.
Two specialists from Forsyths will travel to Japan with the mobile unit and spend a couple of weeks on site assembling and testing it.
The company have already set up a new permanent office in Hong Kong to deal with likely demand from its new venture – and continuing growth – in the overseas sector.
Richard E Forsyth said: “There are multiple merits of this exciting new development. This unit has been assembled, piped, wired and tested in a controlled environment in our workshops in Buckie. This affords us a better control on health and safety during the build but also significantly reduces our installation costs when compared to a traditional overseas build.
The portable design not only means that the distillery can be used in any location, but also creates the possibility of making different spirits in different locations be that bourbon, gin, rum or brandy.
It could also open up a new market sector in the shape of distilleries for rent or lease.”
Chairman, Richard Forsyth Snr, added; “Many developments and inventions down the centuries have been inspired by changing global forces.
“This development not only reflects our company’s responsiveness to those demands – but also our ambition and standing as a global leader, blazing the way in a vibrant market whilst remaining true to time-honoured craftsmanship.
“This development is testament to the incredible expertise, innovation and foresight of our highly skilled workforce – based right here in Moray, Scotland.”