“Jaw dropping”, “deeply impressive” and “dazzling” all the words used to describe Macallan whisky’s new visitor centre at Craigellachie by just one tour group.
All glass and steel and of course elements of copper, this is not so much a visitor centre as an amazing visitor experience where the visitor is led step by step through the whisky making process with simple, but interactive diagrams and at all times surrounded and dazzled by the sheer size of the building and beauty – the beauty of its location and the beauty of the industry. Yes the designers have managed to make this industrial process a thing to be admired.
You cannot come away from a visit without being truly impressed, with a knowledge that this is a special product and yes, of course with a hankering for a taste for the product.
The new building, designed by London architects Rogers Stirk Harbour and partners, has been five years in the making and makes the most of the building’s location on the Macallan estate near Craigellachie which was looking beautiful in its autumn golds. It has been designed to blend into the landscape and makes the most of its elevated position with a glass front. It opened in June this year and has already welcomed 15,000 people through the door – fairly impressive numbers given that they only do tours and a limited number per day.
The tour begins upstairs in the vast glass fronted hall with a view out over the stunning countryside on one side and over the bar and stills on the other – who is say which is the more beautiful? There’s an overwhelming feeling of richness, purity and space, helped by the use of glass and steel in the design and of course the Macallan colours.
The route then passes through an open amazing display of numerous enormous, shiny copper stills quietly fermenting the whisky and takes you in stages through the whole process to the tasting. Of note is the importance given to the whisky casks, mostly sherry casks but all very important in influencing the colour and taste of the whisky.
Words alone cannot convey how special this all is, I have been to a few distillery tours and none come anywhere near this for visitor experience. So really if you wish to make the most of your visit and definitely so that you and your friends can all enjoy the tasting at the end we suggest you leave the car at home and travel with us in the comfort of our Ace Tour Taxis.
Macallan do not currently take coach tours and such is their popularity that they suggest booking at least two weeks in advance to get the times you wish, and that’s in the autumn, out of the main tourist season. So if you are planning a visit, especially over holiday times, do book well in advance – there is an age limit of 14+ for tours. With Ace Tours we can help with the booking and fit in a hearty lunch beforehand or even a game of golf beforehand to make it a brilliant day out for a birthday treat; stag day or just a great day out!
What’s the delay – get booking!