Media release: Chivas Brothers funds PhD to help combat effects of climate change on water supply

Glenlivet Royal Opening

CHIVAS Brothers, the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, is today announcing plans to award £4,000 in grant funding to support key research into combating the effects of climate change on distillery water resources.

The project, which is being delivered in partnership with The University of Aberdeen, and the James Hutton Institute, will offer one PhD student the opportunity to embark on a four-year Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) industrial studentship to help identify natural solutions to reduce the impact of water scarcity and rising water temperatures during prolonged warm and dry periods.

The Scotch whisky industry critically depends on a sustainable and good quality water supply; pure Scottish mineral water is one of three ingredients used in the malting, mashing and cooling processes and also when diluting the spirit to reduce its alcoholic strength to the desired level. This research aims to identify solutions to preserve this key ingredient.

Throughout the project, the student will complete field research on the water catchment areas at The Glenlivet distillery in Moray to test the effectiveness of novel solutions to manage water flow.

They will become an integral part of Chivas Brothers’ environmental sustainability team and receive a full range of training including a course on distillation processes and distillery water requirements.

Research and development of mathematical models to help identify the best locations to manage water flow for other distilleries will be carried out at The University of Aberdeen, with the support of the James Hutton Institute.

Gordon Buist, production director at Chivas Brothers, said: “There are three ingredients that go into creating a single malt Scotch whisky – malted barley, yeast and water – and each is incredibly important to developing the depth of flavour and quality unique to The Glenlivet. By supporting this key research we hope to improve water management strategies, to the benefit of the entire Scotch whisky industry.

“As part of the project, we will support the student by providing them with the opportunity to work with our experienced environmental and sustainability team at The Glenlivet distillery, including access to a wide range of training, expertise and laboratory facilities.”

Dr. Josie Geris, lecturer in Hydrology at the School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, said: “We are pleased to be working with Chivas Brothers and the James Hutton Institute. This project provides an unique opportunity for a research student to gain real world experience out in the field and identify solutions that will greatly benefit the whisky industry in the long-term.”

Chivas Brothers has a longstanding commitment to supporting further academic institutions in Scotland with students from both Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and Edinburgh University completing one-year laboratory placements with the business over the last five years.

The company also supports research and development on behalf of the whisky industry, through the Scotch Whisky Research Institute, based in Edinburgh; and funds a bursary scheme for further education and vocational training in conjunction with the Scottish International Education Trust, which is open to employees and their family members.


Notes to editors:

About Chivas Brothers

Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, the world’s n°2 in wines and spirits. Chivas Brothers’ award-winning portfolio features some of the world’s most revered Scotch whisky brands including Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky and the No.1 Scotch whisky in China; Ballantine’s, Europe’s No.1 Scotch whisky; The Glenlivet, the single malt whisky that set the standard; and Royal Salute, the world’s only exclusively prestige Scotch whisky range.

The portfolio also includes two of the world’s leading English gins – Beefeater, the world’s most awarded premium gin, and Plymouth gin – plus a selection of highly acclaimed single malt whiskies, including Aberlour, Longmorn, Scapa, Strathisla and Tormore. The range is completed by a collection of blended Scotch whiskies operating in many of the world’s key whisky markets which includes 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport Scotch.

For further information, please contact:

Sophie Marsden: or Jessica Kirby:

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