The Macallan, the world’s most admired single malt Scotch whisky, has revealed its new distillery and visitor experience – officially opening June 2, 2018.
Located on the stunning Easter Elchies estate, the property has been home to The Macallan since 1824. From humble beginnings, the brand has become the leading international single malt by value and enjoys top positions in some of the world’s most significant Scotch whisky markets including the United States, Taiwan, and Japan.
It is the first distillery in Speyside to be designed by an internationally acclaimed and award-winning architect, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, known for their groundbreaking work on projects such as the Terminal 4 Madrid Barajas Airport and International Towers in Sydney.
Edrington, The Macallan’s parent company, is investing £500 million ($674M USD approx.) in the brand of which the £140 million ($255M USD approx.) distillery is the centrepiece. This program increases investment in whisky, warehousing, and particularly in The Macallan’s signature sherry-seasoned oak casks.
When the distillery and visitor experience opens its doors, guests will be able to experience The Macallan’s Six Pillars like never before. Each of the Six Pillar exhibits feature an interactive and tech-driven interaction that brings the brand’s legendary whisky making process to life. From the sherry casks seasoned in Spain, to the curiously small stills, each point of the production is showcased for visitors to experience.
Announced in 2012, the project build began in December 2014 taking three years and six months total to complete.
Elgin-based construction company Robertson has delivered the complex architectural design, working with 25 contractors to bring the vision for the new distillery and visitor experience to life. During construction, up to 400 people specialising in more than 20 different trades were employed on site.
The striking piece of contemporary architecture is cut into the slope of the land, taking its cues from ancient Scottish hills and maximising the aesthetic beauty of the building whilst minimising the visual impact on the Speyside landscape, which has been classified as an ‘Area of Great Landscape Value’. The undulating timber roof structure is one of the most complicated timber roof structures in the world, comprising 380,000 individual components.
The new stills within the working distillery were crafted by Scottish coppersmiths Forsyths, who have been making the brand’s distinctive, ‘curiously small’ stills for The Macallan since the 1950s – the new stills are an exact replica of the originals. While the new distillery will allow for production to increase, the same great quality of The Macallan will remain untouched.
Ian Curle, Chief Executive, Edrington, said: “This is an exciting occasion for Edrington and The Macallan. The unsurpassed quality of The Macallan is in high demand and we face the future confidently with this new distillery. It’s an authentic, abiding, ambitious investment that will match consumer expectations for generations to come. When the doors open in June, we expect this new Macallan enterprise to deliver significant benefits for the tourism industry, Scotch whisky exports, and the economy.”
Ken Grier, Creative Director, The Macallan, said: “As The Macallan has grown globally it has been very important that we make sure we can sustain demand for this wonderful amber liquid. We’ve taken exceptional care in making sure that the spirit that is produced in the new distillery is identical to the spirit that we produced in our previous distillery. This is the beginning of a really exciting new chapter in the evolution of this wonderful brand that is The Macallan.”
Graham Stirk, Senior Partner and Lead Architect, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners commented: “The Macallan estate truly is a special place; a place we have come to love and respect hugely. The vision was always ambitious but this enabled us to challenge our own thinking to create something so dramatic and awe-inspiring. It has been an honour to play our part in shaping the next chapter for The Macallan.”
Source: The Macallan