New Macallan Distillery officially opened

Edrington presents an innovative design and will continue the tradition of high quality

A unique and phenomenal project has been completed end of 2017 and was now officially opened: The new Macallan Distillery is open to the public from 2. June 2018 onward after it had been ceremoniously presented to bidden guests last week. With lightshow, sound and impressive staging the realization of a vision was celebrated.

Already in 2012 Edrington, owner of The Macallan, had announced the huge project of a complete new construction of the Macallan Distillery and started an architectural competition. Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners won with an unusual concept of a distillery, presenting a grass covered roof, shaped like a landscape of hills – an absolutely new look for a whisky distillery. The company Robertson from Elgin let this concept come true in three years of construction and in cooperation with Forsyths of Rothes, producers of the distillery equipment, and 20 other branches an impressive building arose.

Facts and figures

  • The construction of the new Macallan Distillery costed £140mio
  • The building that houses production site and visitor center in one large room, separated only by a wall of special glass, stretches over 8.100 m²
  • 36 stills (12 wash stills und 24 spirit stills) are arranged circular in three groups. They were built by Forsyths as copies of the former Macallan stills
  • The mashtun holds 17 tons and another could be added if production was to be increased
  • Fermentation (55 hours) takes place in 21 stainless steel wash backs
  • The previous production volume will be increased by one third and make up 15 million liters annually
  • Water for production and fermentation will be taken from the River Spey as it always was
  • The new Macallan Distillery will use 95% renewable energy; the waste heat from production and cooling process is used to heat the visitor center

The roof

A special state of the art is the roof that consists of thousands of elements and forms five domes. It is covered with about 14.000 m² of grass and fits organically into the landscape. The rain water is collected and used to water the grass during dry periods.

The visitor center

The visitor center also can present unique elements: The visitor is taken through the different aspects of whisky production and the special wood and cask management of Macallan in an interactive way. Very impressive is the glass exhibition wall that stretches from the bottom up to the roof and presents about 400 different archive bottles. Not less striking: 3275 samples in a „Natural Colour Wall“ which show the variety of colors during maturation.

The future

With this new distillery Macallan says good bye to the historical style with pagoda roof, white walls and dark wooden furbishing. A new, modern design was created to start into the future of whisky distilling: high quality of Macallan Single Malt Whisky as we are used to, same production method, but contemporary style.

The old Macallan Distillery had handed over whisky production in December 2017 already to the new one and now it will retire: the distillery will be mothballed, but not dismantled.