Opening shot of The Macallan distillery is by Mark Power of Magnum Photos
After smashing the record for the most expensive bottle ever auctioned ($1.36 million) last month, The Macallan has another piece of exciting news for the whisky world – a new distillery.
Construction for The Macallan’s new distillery began in 2014 and four long years later, the building is finally open to the public. The distillery, which cost £140 million, was designed by internationally acclaimed architect Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and is located in the beautiful Easter Elchies estate in Speyside.
The architectural firm was chosen after an international competition that saw many other companies put their names in the hat.
The Building Process
During construction, close to 400 people specialising in more than 20 different trades were employed on site and great care was taken to not level the distinctive ancient Scottish hills you see in the picture above. The Elgin-based Robertson Construction was given specific instructions to minimise the visual impact of the Speyside landscape, which has been classified as an ‘Area of Great Landscape Value’.
The highlight of the new distillery has to be the timber roof structure. One of the most complicated timber roof structures in the world, it comprises 380,000 individual components.
The new distillery enables The Macallan to increase production by a third if required. More importantly, however, the building boasts an enhanced visitor experience. The Macallan expects visitor numbers to double in the first year and set to rise year on year.
Edrington‘s chief executive Ian Curle 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… we expect this new Macallan enterprise to deliver significant benefits for the tourism industry, Scotch whisky exports, and the economy.”