Record levels of whisky sales have encouraged a spate of investments in distilleries.

Gordon & MacPhail is to invest £540,000 in a second bottling line, following a 40% hike in sales of its Benromach single malt.

This week, the Scottish the government’s Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation scheme awarded a grant of £1.9m to the Isle of Harris Distillery to build a £5m operation. Earlier, the scheme granted an award to the Wemyss Malts business to build a distillery in Fife.

Domestic sales of Gordon & MacPhail have grown 13% during 2012, said managing director Michael Urquhart, while exports had risen 55%, driven by demand from China, Sweden and France. The company said it was also in talks with Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose over national listings.

While export markets - particularly Russia, Brazil and India - were driving growth there were opportunities in the domestic market, said Tim Simmons, senior analyst at International wine & Spirit Research.

”retailers are launching premium own-label ranges with the producer’s name on the label,” he added.