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Macallan’s £100m distillery to open next summer

The Macallan’s new £100 million distillery and visitor centre will become fully functional by summer 2018, as the single malt Scotch whisky brand nears the one million case sales mark.

A never-before-seen image of the new distillery and visitor centre

In an interview with The Spirits Business last month, Scott McCroskie, managing director for Edrington-owned The Macallan, said the distillery will be commissioned and start producing spirit in the coming weeks, but will be fully operational by early next summer.

“It’s going wonderfully well; it’s stunning,” McCroskie said of the distillery’s progress. “It’s really exciting, and we are just getting to the end of the main build phase.

“The new distillery is unique – I don’t think there’s anything like it; in fact, I don’t think there will be anything like it again. It’s something truly special and we are absolutely delighted with the progress.”

The distillery has a rolling hills design by architecture firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, as demonstrated by the exclusive image (above) provided to SB.

Edrington has not disclosed the new distillery’s capacity, but McCroskie said it will be “about a third bigger” than the maximum capacity of the current site – which has also not been confirmed. However, the executive claimed the new site will be of a similar size to those of “leading brands”.

The distillery “will not increase production in the short-term” for The Macallan, but will provide the opportunity to do so “if somewhere like China really takes off”, he added.

The Macallan will mothball its existing site once the new distillery is fully functional. “We are going to preserve it,” stated McCroskie. “It isn’t going to run, but we are going to keep it in a condition that should someone in the future want to restart it for whatever reason, then that option is open to them.”

McCroskie said Edrington has no plans to restart the distillery itself, but added that “who knows what future generations might want to do?”

“We are tight for stock,” said McCroskie. “We have a nice growth trajectory ahead of us, but it is obviously constrained by what was made all those years ago. This does provide ample scope for growth, in any case.”

McCroskie also stated that The Macallan is “very close” to achieving one million case sales.

“It’s just below that now, so hopefully in the not too distant future it will reach the mark,” he said. “The Macallan has steady growth – markets grow at different levels at different times – but it’s a good, strong, solid growth dynamic behind the brand.”

To read McCroskie’s full interview with The Spirits Business, see our September 2017 edition, out soon.

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