The new Macallan distillery

The new Macallan distillery
United Kingdom
2018 > Ongoing
#ResourceEfficiency #SustainableAgriculture #WaterUse


By building the new Macallan distillery, the aim was to marry together whisky making heritage with innovation by creating an architectural masterpiece which respects the surrounding environment.


Based in Speyside, the celebrated Macallan distillery was renovated and opened in 2018:

  • The design features of the new distillery help promote biodiversity around the Macallan Estate. Conforming to the surrounding landscape, the undulating roof has been planted with native grasses and wildflowers. There are 14,000 m² of meadow across the five crests of the distillery and it is seeded with a mix of indigenous grasses and wildflowers designed for the site.
  • The unique roof is also made of PEFC-certified timber and makes the building a prime example for sustainable construction. One of the most complex timber roof structures in the world it, comprises 380,000 individual pieces.
  • The River Spey that runs through the Macallan Estate is a ‘Designated Special Area of Conservation' (SAC) and where the cooling water comes from.
  • The water for the new-make spirit comes from spring water boreholes on the Macallan Estate.
  • During the construction of the distillery, an ecologist worked closely with our environmental specialist to ensure wildlife, including protected species, were protected during the build.
  • The steam from a local biomass energy-generating plant is used to power the boilers, reducing the carbon footprint of the previous energy supply from gas.
  • The heat from the stills is repurposed to heat the Visitor Experience.
  • Any surface water from the distillery roof and car-park is managed through a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SuDS), a natural approach to drainage which helps prevent water pollution and flooding.


  •  The site was designed by Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners and built by Robertson Construction
  • The new stills were crafted by Scottish coppersmiths Forsyths


Following the build and opening of the new distillery, The Macallan has a strong report card in the following areas on our sustainability agenda:

  • Excellent Water Protection: The distillery continues to maintain the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) excellent rating through our source water quality and protection of the River Spey.
  • Recognised Sustainable Environment: Maintain Environmental Management Certification (ISO 14001) and nurture, support and expand our extensive Macallan Estate plant and animal ecosystems.
  • Sustainably Sourced Packaging: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified packaging.
  • Barley Certified to Highest Standard: 100% barley supply certified to highest standards (Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAIP)).
  • Industry Leading Cask Management: 100% cask lifecycle tracking system, tracing each of our casks from cooper to bodegas to our maturation warehouses and onward circular economy repurposing.




The Macallan Distillery - The Mystery Revealed

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