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  • Writer's pictureChris Mads

A distillery opening with The Macallan

I have just been lucky enough to witness a true once-in-a-generation moment.

The nice folks at Edrington and The Macallan flew me up to join a party of about 500 others to get an exclusive first-look at their new distillery on Speyside. Unsurprisingly, there were drams galore.

Obviously this one was for work - and you can see the final story here - but it was also a brilliant experience.

Distillery openings are not something which happen every day. This one cost £140 million and has been four years in the making.

We were staying at the Craigellachie Hotel, which is a beautiful little boutique spot nestled away in the Scottish Highlands. The scenery round there is simply stunning, but that is a story for another day.

Last night we were picked up and taken over the River Spey to see the new home of The Macallan.

The distillery is on the historic Easter Elchies estate and looks out over rolling hills and valleys of Scottish highland. We were deep in Scotch country here and the sweeping views and fresh mountain air just gave the whole place a breathless beauty to it.

I mean, what a view.

But the night itself was something to behold.

We walked through a Hobbit-esque tunnel into a tent which looked like it had been created in a fairytale.

Oh and did I mention dinner was provided by the Roca brothers? Yep, the Michelin-starred Spanish chef brothers whose restaurant has twice been named 'best in the world' came across to Scotland with a specially-crafted meal.

And there was glamorous whisky galore.

Outside, we were treated to one of the most spectacular light and music shows I have ever seen. The old house was lit up like a fairytale as the history of The Macallan was told.

Then a full on light and sound rock show to display the new building.

And inside?

Gleaming copper stills - the small ones used only by The Macallan - are ready and running creating the latest lines.

We took a walk around the visitors' experience, which gives a look behind the curtain at how The Macallan is made. And we got up close and personal with the casks.

One of my personal highlights was the gallery. Here a number of world-class photographers have captured the creation of the distillery. I love the way a good photo turns what, to the rest of us appears to be a simple moment into a piece of art.

Whisky-fuelled, we celebrated into the night to mark the new distillery.


#travel #drinks #food

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