By Richard Thomas
In another vote of confidence as to the future of the world whiskey boom, the makers of The Macallan are set to invest in a major expansion for the esteemed single malt brand. Edrington, who also own The Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark, have announced their intention to build a new £100 million distilling facility for The Macallan.
The Macallan continues to be a popular and noteworthy brand in single malt scotch, despite a few run-ins with controversy in recent years. In 2009, the same year that the Macallan overcame Glenfiddich to become the #2 single malt seller in the world, the brand was declassified as a Speyside malt by the brand new Scotch Whisky Regulations, sparking something of an identity crisis. In 2012, The Macallan moved its expressions to a no-aging statement (NAS) footing for certain key markets, sparking considerable outrage and debate in whiskey circles.
The new facility is to be designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, and will be built next to the old one, located in Craigellachie, Scotland. The existing Macallan distillery will then be closed, although Edrington might find cause to reopen the old facility in the future. The Macallan’s existing production capacity is said to be 10 million liters annually, and Edrington has yet to declare what the projected output for the new facility will be.
The obvious intent of the investment is to boost production in the long term, and is a statement of Edrington’s belief that the world whiskey boom will continue, or at least won’t deflate. Edrington is hardly alone in this confidence, with billions of pounds being invested in at least 15 new distilling projects in Scotland at the present time. That new Scottish distillery construction is on top of the first distillery building activity Ireland has seen since the 1980s, the micro-distillery boom in the United States and Canada, and the new whiskey distillers popping around to world from Australia to France to Nepal.