Edrington Global Travel Retail has outlined plans to ‘bring to life’ in airports the newly opened £140m ($187m) Macallan distillery and visitor experience for prestige Scotch single malt The Macallan, which was unveiled yesterday (23 May).
TRBusiness was on location at the lavish event in Craigellachie, Speyside, which was attended by around 150 representatives including global travel retailers and international media.
Speaking to TRBusiness ahead of the distillery reveal, which included a spectacular light show and exclusive tour of the facility, Edrington GTR Managing Director Igor Boyadjian said: “It is not like you are opening a new distillery every day, decade or even century. This is a memorable and significant event for the brand and The Edrington Group.”
Regarding the implications of the opening for the DF&TR business, he added: “It is creating an amazing asset and upcoming discussions will focus on how we are going to use it in travel retail.
“These discussions will take place after the visits because not everyone is going to be able to come. We have tried to bring a lot of people, but the objective is to find ways to bring it to life in airports worldwide.”
He added: “That will be the very essence of what we are going to try to achieve next. How can we bring a piece of that experience and the distillery itself to the world in key global airports?”
Looking ahead to this ‘new and exciting chapter’, Boyadjian reiterates the importance of the opening for the Edrington brand in general.
“It is also an exciting chapter for the Scotch industry, for Scotland and definitely for travel retail,” he continued. “We definitely intend to use that asset and send the same message of confidence to the world and to consumers.”
Located on the Easter Elchies estate in Speyside, the £140m ($187m) distillery is the by-product of a £500m ($668m) investment into the brand to leverage its whisky, facility and signature sherry-seasoned oak casks.
The three-and-a-half-year construction project, first announced in 2012, will open its doors to the visitor centre on 2 June. The first whisky ran through the stills in December.
Ian Curle, Chief Executive, Edrington, said: “This is an exciting occasion for Edrington and The Macallan. The unsurpassed quality of The Macallan is in high demand and we face the future confidently with this new distillery. It’s an authentic, abiding, ambitious investment that will match consumer expectations for generations to come.
“When the doors open in June, we expect this new Macallan enterprise to deliver significant benefits for the tourism industry, Scotch whisky exports, and the economy.”
Importantly, the distillery allows The Macallan to up its production by a third if necessary.
A notable feature of the new building is its striking architecture, which takes its cues from the ancient Scottish hills.
Situated on terrain classed as an ‘Area of Great Landscape Value’, the distillery maximises its aesthetics while minimising any visual impact on the Speyside area.