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Macallan distillery

Although the Macallan Single Malt labels identify it as Highland whisky, Macallan is located in the middle of Speyside, right on the Spey River.


The new Macallan building blends in wonderfully with the landscape and consists of five round halls lined up in a row. The roof structure of the 140 million pound building alone consists of over 350,000 individual components. While one of the halls houses the visitor center another the mash tuns, the other three halls share the 36 stills and the fermentation tanks for fermentation. Macallan has a lot of stills, but the spirit stills are unusually small and allow intense copper contact, which is what makes the characteristic Macallan taste.

Macallan is not only represented in the famous Scottish blend “The famous Grouse”, his malts regularly achieve top prices at auctions and have won many awards in blind tastings. Even if one or the other quality is temporarily not available or is discontinued, new uncolored original bottlings are always available and independent bottlings are also regularly on the market.


Macallan’s history dates back to the 17th century when illegal whisky was still distilled there. It is said that Alexander Reid had the still officially registered in 1824 due to pressure from tax collectors. This still happens under the name Elchies Distillery.

In 1892 Roderick Kemp took over the distillery and renamed it Macallan-Glenlivet. His family held the distillery until 1996, when it was taken over by the Edrington Group. At the end of 2017, the new Macallan distillery will start production on the same site. After five years of construction, the new building sets standards in terms of architecture, size, functionality and state-of-the-art equipment.

Macallan factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Macallan Speyside Scotland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Active 1824 - Present Malt Macallan Tour Link
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group
Russell Anderson; Dhavall Gandhi Edrington

Macallan Timeline:

1824: Founded by Alexander Reid

1825-48: Alexander Reid & Co.

1848-51: Priest & Davidson

1852-68: James Davidson corn merchant in Rothes

1869-79: James Stuart & Co.

1886: James Stuart bought the distillery from the Seafield Estate

1892: Purchased by Roderick Kemp who rebuilt the distillery and renamed it Macallan-Glenlivet

1909-46: Run by Roderick Kemp’s Trust, when R. Kemp Macallan-Glenlivet Ltd. formed as a private company

1965: Extended from six to twelve stills

1966: Converted to a public company as R. Kemp Macallan-Glenlivet Ltd.

1970-Dec: R. Kemp dropped from title

1974: Extended from twelve to eighteen stills

1975: Extended from eighteen to twenty-one stills. Dark-grains plant

....: The company has restored Easter Elchies House as a reception centre and office complex

1999: Owned by Macallan (Highland Distillers)

2002: Stills became steamheated

2004: Owned by The Edrington Group

Can I tour Macallan?

Yes Macallan distillery is tourable. On Trip Advisor the distillery has been rated as excellent by 94 of 137 tours to date. This gives Macallan an overall rating of 4.5

Latest reviews

Stunning Achitecture and Good Bar by Al

Tour was unavailale although we were happy to explore building and taste a few drams in the mezzanine bar. Good service and world class architecture.

Out of the Ordinary by Julia M

We booked a table in the restaurant expecting a nice lunch, but we were both amazed by the Michelin standard meal that we enjoyed. It was exquisite and brimming with flavour. After our meal we went up to the bar and enjoyed one of the tasting flights, and a delicious non alcoholic cocktail for the driver. Our lunch became an afternoon experience. Highly recommended for something out of the ordinary.

Fantastic Visit and a Great Day Spent Here Learning So Much. by KulHKJ

From the initial welcome from Lindsay and meeting Stuart the general manager we were so well treated. Matthew offered great service in the brasserie and bar. We had booked the masters tour and had a fantastic five course meal paired with wines. Lindsay took us around on a very informative tour at a calm and gentle pace. Nothing was a problem and I can only highly commend the service and quality on this tour. I was able to purchase some special bottles that I had recently missed out on. A great big thank you to the team at The Macallan and hope to revisit health allowing.

Rating Reviews
Excellent 94
Very good 19
Average 15
Poor 2
Terrible 7