Speyside Distillery opens visitor centre called "The Snug"

Speyside Distillery has invested a six-figure sum in a new visitor centre in Aviemore Retail Park

Until now, the Speyside Distillery did not have a visitor centre and was not open to the general public. This has now changed. The Snug, as the new visitor centre is called, was officially opened on 7 June 2018. The Speyside Distillery operators invested £200,000 in this project, with the Highlands and Islands Enterprise contributing £90,767.

The Snug

The Snug is not located on the distillery grounds, but about 15 miles away in Aviemore Retail Park. At least two full-time and four part-time employees look after the interests of visitors there. The name comes from the fact that the late grandfather of Speyside Distillery CEO John Harvey McDonough, Alec Harvey, who ran his whisky business in Sunderland, England, used to frequent a local pub called The Snug. For Alec, the Snug was a kind of village community for the locals who gathered there to share their life experiences and help each other - always with a dram, of course.

Win-win situation

It is hoped that the new visitor centre will connect the remote Speyside distillery to Aviemore, the tourist centre in Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands, will create jobs, support the local community and provide a visitor attraction that brings a new dimension to tourism in the region. "The Snug will be a first-class facility for our team and global brand ambassadors, customers and VIP guests; a place where they can further establish their knowledge and understanding of Speyside Distillery, its craft spirits and art," says Patricia Dillon, managing director of the distillery.

While working with The Snug with the local community to create a focus for the Speyside distillery, the Cairngorms' economy is being boosted and a local charity supported. A percentage of sales from The Snug will be donated to the local transport system "Where 2 Today", which, in cooperation with Cairngorm Business Partnership, aims to alleviate social exclusion in rural areas.

Craftsmanship and tradition

The picturesque Speyside Distillery in Glen Tromie is located in the foothills of the Cairngorms and is open by appointment only for a limited number of guests to enjoy tours, tastings and some exclusive events with distillery manager Sandy Jamieson. The distillery still relies on traditional craftsmanship to produce finest single malt Scotch whisky, e.g. bottlings of the Spey brand, such as Tenné, Trutina, Chairman's Choice, Byron's Choice or the smoky Fumare as well as the extremely dark Beinn Dubh, matured in Ruby port wine casks.


Image: Speyside Distillery