Blackwood Distillers is a company which produces whisky and gin.
The company was set up in 2002, originally to build Shetland's first ever whisky distillery, in a six year plan. Alongside this long term goal, the company also launched a series of white spirits drinks, such as Blackwood's Vintage Dry Gin, and DIVA Vodka. Some of these white spirit drinks went on to win international awards.
Bonds valued at £560 each were sold in the whisky business, although apparently few of these bonds sold in Shetland. The bond holders were to be rewarded with 12 bottles of the whisky when it had matured for 3 years (2006), and a further 12 bottles at 5 years maturation (2008).
Blackwood planned to build the whisky distillery at Catfirth, Nesting, but following planning delays they decided to move the operation to the redundant RAF base in Unst. Then in March 2007 Blackwood announced a U turn because they couldn't agree terms with the developers of the RAF base. As a result the Catfirth site was again the favoured location.
With delays dogging the original whisky production plans, as an alternative to appease bond holders, it was decided to mature a blended whisky from the Scottish mainland on Unst, some of which was bottled under the name Muckle Flugga. 360 6 bottle cases of the Muckle Flugga whisky, which had been marked for 'bond holders only,' were subsequently stolen from a warehouse in Hampshire.
In May 2008 Blackwood Distillers went into administration, and in August 2008 was forced into liquidation. A new company, Catfirth Limited, was set up with plans to take the distillery project forward, part of the funding for which is to be from the continued import of Scottish whisky for maturation in Shetland. However at time of writing (January 2011) no further progress has been made.
The successful white spirit brands which Blackwood launched have now been licenced to Blavod Extreme Spirits in a 7 year deal.
Blackwoods is currently the most northerly whisky distillery in the British Isles, and even the world. The previous holder was Highland Park in Orkney.