The Macallan Distillery Tour in Scotland
In Speyside, the lush countryside leading to The Macallan estate offers idyllic views of green fields, rolling hillsides, flocks of sheep, fields of cows, and picturesque towns. If these images sound like heaven, a trip to Scotland can sure feel that way.
Photo by Julie Wolfson
The Macallan Tour: The Property
Pull up to the gates of The Macallan estate and loyal whisky drinkers may get giddy or even a little high. Breathe in a whiff of the angels' share, the whisky that evaporates into the air around the distillery. First, stop near Easter Elchies House to catch a glimpse of the most adorable Highland Cows in the field at The Macallan. With long flowing dark red hair, these animals are real beauties. On the property, barley fields lead to the River Spey, a favorite spot for salmon fishing. See gorgeous vistas at every turn. Both The Experience Tour and The Precious Tour begin at the distillery building.
The Macallan Tour: The Tour
At the entrance of the distillery, an exhibit on making whisky sets the tone. Then on to learn about how whisky is created while peering inside the mash tuns, the giant washbacks, and the gleaming whisky stills. Knowledgable guides talk about the transformation of the precious liquid from new spirit to single malt. The tour guide will also tell the story of the production, maturation, and marrying process as well as the story of how the casks contirbute to the aromas, natural flavors, and color of the whisky.
The Macallan Tour: The Nosing and Tasting Room
Next, it's time to taste the golden goodness. The VIP tour includes a tasting of a range of The Macallan. The nosing and tasting room is next to Master Whisky Maker Bob Dalgarno's lab. If the windows are open, be sure to look inside to see the samples from hundreds of casks that help Bob make sure that every bottle of Macallan has the same taste and natural color.
The Macallan Tour: The Shop
One more highlight, don't miss the gift shop. If you have been admiring some of the staff's black Macallan parkas, you can buy one. Also find, flasks, glasses, food items, and of course bottles of whisky.
The Macallan welcomes visitors for tours and tastings by appointment only. It is recommended to book in advance. Be sure the visit the Speyside Cooperage to see how casks are mended prior to being filled with new make spirit. To book a tour of Speyside, Rabbies offers tours of the area. Speyside is also home to the official Malt Whisky Trail with several other distilleries that offer tours including: Benromach, Gelnfiddich, The Glenlivet, Glen Moray, and more. A visit to Speyside to tour distilleries and see the countryside should be on the top of the list for whisky enthusiasts.