New Macallan Distillery
New Macallan distillery opened last week with a spectacular gala event and I had the honor of being the first Turkish whisky enthusiast to visit the distillery
Even in my wildest whisky dreams I couldn’t imagine that I would experience something like this in Speyside, Scotland. Last week the new Macallan Distillery opened with a gala event and I had the privilege to be the first Turkish whisky enthusiast to witness this spectacular distillery.
The excitement started at 18:00 at the Macallan Estate overlooking the beautiful view of the River Spey. Following the “black carpet” where 150 whisky experts & collectors from around the world were greeted by Edrington executives CEO Ian Curle, Scott McCroskie and Ken Grier, the event commenced by cocktails (my first ever kilt experience:)
Amuse bouches and the elegant dinner following this cocktail, were prepared by the infamous El Celler de Can Roca, winner of Best Restaurant awards in 2013 and 2015. The entire menu was paired with Spanish sherries, wine and Macallan cocktails. Macallan M Black was served during dinner.
Menu By El Celler de Can Roca
Time to see Easter Elchies
Following welcome speeches, dinner and an exquisite recital by violinist Nicola Benedetti, we were guided to the gardens of Easter Elchies mansion where a beautifully prepared projection mapping over the building showcased the history of The Macallan.
Around 23:00, a lady in white dress holding a lantern exited the Easter Elchies and silently guided the guests to the right side of the mansion and another spectacular light show started; this time on the new distillery. Speyside sky was lit with projector lights and excitement reached to a new high. We walked silently to the new distillery and when indoors we were awed by this huge building, cut into the hills of the estate. The distillery welcomes the guests with a brand new visitor center with every Macallan bottle ever created (including the oldest and the record breaking 6 liter decanters).
There are 2 new collector bottles for the opening; The Macallan Genesis and a Lalique Decanter of 72 years old.
Construction and Architecture of the New Macallan Distillery
The distillery is designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP). I had a sneak peak to the construction site on my Speyside visits over the last 2 years but never imagined that something like that would come up. The construction lasted 3.5 years with an investment of 140 million GBP.
The entire structure is cut into the hills of Speyside, not to disrupt Speyside’s beautiful landscape. The structure has a roof designed as 5 domes covered with timber. It is said to be one of the most complex timber roof sturctures ever built; with around 380.000 individual units to be built, the ultimate Speyside puzzle.
At the distillery we were greeted by Lalique glasses filled with a mahogany colored whisky to toast, which later was revealed as a Opening Exclusive bottling by Nick Savage, and the youngest Macallan in that bottle is 55 years old. The open bar also had other premium Macallans such as Macallan Rare Cask, Macallan No.6 and Macallan Reflexion.
We had a short tour of the 36 stills that are installed in 3 circles of 12 and the spaceship-sized mash tun are really something to see. The stills are the same shape and size with the older ones (as Macallan calls them “curiously small”) and again produced by Forsythe. I was so curious about their “new” newmake but didn’t have the chance to taste it; Nick said in another interview that he managed to get exactly the same new make from the new stills. With this new distillery The Macallan will increase the current production capacity by 30%, a great investment taking into account great current demand for Macallan and to be ready for the next decade with great bottles that will meet the ever increasing demand.
During the week, Macallan Lounges were installed at the hotels around the distillery, where No.6, Rare Cask, 25 and the new travel retail series, Macallan Quest, Lumina and Terra were served as open bar. We were at one of my favorite spots in Elgin, The Mansefield Hotel where I enjoyed the great serves and the unforgettable whisky sours of the experienced bartender Adam Fraser Gray and chatted with fellow whisky enthusiasts who were staying at the same hotel
The Macallan once again rewrote history in Speyside, I truly believe that this isnt just a historical moment for The Macallan but for distillation history.
Huge thanks to everyone involved in this mega-project and making it a huge success.
Distillery will be open to public on June 2nd.
PS: We shared several moments from this event on our social media accounts with the hashtags #MacallanDistillery, #NewMacallanDistillery and #Macallan Don’t forget to check my instagram account www.instagram.com/meleklerin_payi and all the photos shared with these hashtags.