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Benriach distillery to open visitor centre

The Speyside distillery will welcome visitors from next month.

Published: April 29, 2021

Speyside distillery, Benriach, is gearing up to welcome visitors through the doors of its first ever official visitor centre following the completion of a six-figure investment project.

Featuring a bar, tasting lounge, and retail space, the distillery’s visitor experience will open on Friday 21 May 2021.

Initially offering a variety of tastings following the easing of Scotland’s Covid-19 restrictions, visitors will be encouraged to discover Benriach’s single malt range and rich heritage, which dates back to 1898.

The project follows the recent unveiling of Benriach’s new portfolio, and marks the first phase of the distillery visitor centre renovations, as part of a major investment initiative by Brown-Forman, who acquired the distillery in 2016.

Initially the new visitor centre will offer two tasting experiences which are designed to appeal to both single malt lovers and those at the beginning of their whisky journey.

The ‘Sense of Flavour’ tasting will delve into the production process at Benriach, before zoning in on the distillery’s classic and smoky expressions at 10 and 12 years old.

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Visitors will also have the chance to explore their own flavour preferences with whisky by trying Benriach in simple cocktail serves.

A deconstructed cask tasting will also be on offer for those who wish to dive deeper into the distillery’s creative heritage of eclectic cask maturation.

The ‘Barrels, Butts, and Barriques’ experience will offer visitors the chance to taste five individual cask types, culminating in a tasting of the Benriach 21 Year Old - showcasing how Benriach’s master blender, Dr. Rachel Barrie builds rich layers of flavour in a range of fruit-forward single malts.

Visitors are advised to pre-book their preferred tasting online before attending the distillery.

Distillery tours of the production site will return when it is safe to do so.

The new visitor centre has been built using natural materials from local suppliers wherever possible and has drawn from the natural colour palette of Speyside to inspire its interior - much like the new-look branding.

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External to the visitor building, one of the distillery’s most prominent warehouses has been whitewashed and branded to cement Benriach’s new identity - a practice traditionally adopted by ancient distilleries in Scotland.

Jennifer Proctor, visitor centre manager at Benriach Distillery, said: “The last year has been significant in Benriach’s journey with the launch of the distillery’s new flavour forward portfolio, so the unveiling of our first ever visitor centre is a special moment.

"From cask tastings to cocktails, we’ll initially be offering two flight-style tasting experiences that allow customers to explore Benriach’s flavour spectrum.

"When restrictions allow, we will reveal our full distillery tour offering and announce the next phase of the distillery visitor centre development.

"Whether a local to Speyside or visitor from further afield, we look forward to welcoming guests from near and afar to discover Benriach’s world of flavour.”

Known for its long-standing tradition of distilling classic, peated and triple distilled whisky and a vast eclectic cask inventory sourced from around the world, Benriach unveiled its new portfolio last year.

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For more information about the new Benriach Visitor Centre and how to book a tasting experience, visit their website.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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