ONE OF A KIND. After three and a half years, The Macallan’s striking new distillery and visitor experience opens its doors to the public
The Macallan’s new distillery (photo by Ian Gavan)
The Easter Elchies estate in Speyside, Scotland, has been home to The Macallan since 1824. Now, it is also home to the prestigious brand’s new and unique distillery. For one, the structure is quite striking and visually distinct thanks to its undulating timber roof, which has been described one of the most complicated structures of its kind in the world. It also holds the distinction of being the first distillery in Speyside, which is a famous whisky producing region, to be designed by an internationally acclaimed architect, in this case Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, who have also created Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 and The Centre Pompidou in Paris.
It’s also interesting to note that the architecture cuts into the slope of the countryside. Besides making the distillery appear even more aesthetically pleasing, it actually helps minimalize its visual impact on the surrounding landscape. All in all, the distillery beautifully reimagines the rustic appeal of ancient Scottish hills.
The distinctive roof of the new distillery (photo by Ian Gavan)
Construction of the distillery (photo by Mark Power, Magnum Photos)
“The new distillery and visitor experience is outstanding, it’s like nothing else I’ve ever seen,” said The Macallan’s Managing Director Scott McCroskie. “It will give us an unbelievable asset at the heart of the macallan brand that will serve us well for years to come.”
The entire project was first announced back in 2012, while building began in December 2014. Turning the ambitious design into reality was Elgin-based Robertson Construction. The stills of the new distillery, which, by the way, started operating in December last year, were crafted by Scottish coppersmiths Forsyths. They have actually been making The Macallan’s distinctive stills—described as “curiously small”—since the 1950s.
The so-called “curiously small” stills (photo by Ian Gavan)
Finally, early this month, the visitor experience opened its doors to the public.
Today, the new distillery will allow The Macallan to ramp up production by approximately a third when required. This will certainly come as welcome news for fans of the brand and whisky connoisseurs all over the world. “‘This is an exciting occasion for Edrington and The Macallan,” said Ian Curle, Chief Executive of Edrington. “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.”
The Macallan Bar (photo by Ian Gavan)
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