International and premium spirits company Edrington was this summer proud to open a new distillery and visitor centre to produce Macallan, one of the jewels in the malt whisky crown.
The new distillery and visitor experience is located on the stunning Easter Elchies estate, which has been home to the leading luxury single malt since 1824. From humble beginnings, the brand has risen to become the leading international single malt by value and enjoys leading positions in some of the world’s most significant Scotch whisky markets including The USA, Taiwan, and Japan.
Edrington is investing £500 million in the brand of which the £140 million distillery is the centrepiece. This investment will be felt all across the business, with whisky, warehousing and casks all benefitting.
The project was announced in 2012 and the build began in December 2014. The first whisky ran through the stills in December last year and the visitor experience opened its doors to the public on 2nd June.
It is the first distillery on Speyside to be designed by an internationally acclaimed architect, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, who were selected to lead the project after an international competition.
Elgin-based Robertson Construction 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 new distillery will enable production of The Macallan to increase by a third if required. The new stills were crafted by Scottish coppersmiths Forsyths, who have been making the brand’s distinctive, ‘curiously small’ stills for The Macallan since the 1950s.
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’. This dual impact of increasing production while protecting the natural surrounding is an innovative approach that can help the region continue to be prosperous whilst not affecting the outstanding visual appeal of the area’s landscape.
The undulating timber roof structure is one of the most complicated in the world, comprising 380,000 individual components.
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.”