Ruggedly beautiful and creative, the Benriach distillery stands on the site of the old Riach farm in North Speyside and is gearing up to welcome visitors through the doors of its first official visitor centre in May following the completion of a six-figure investment project.
The centre itself is set to open on Friday 21st May 2021, and will feature a bar, tasting lounge, and retail space. Following the easing of Scotland’s COVID-19 restrictions, Benriach will be offering a variety of flavour-focused tastings and visitors will be encouraged to discover Benriach’s multi-layered Single Malt and rich creative heritage dating back to 1898, when founder John Duff built his distillery. This project follows the recent unveiling of Benriach’s new portfolio last year, and marks the first phase of the visitor centre renovations, as part of a major investment initiative by Brown Forman, who acquired the distillery in 2016.
Initially, the visitor centre will offer two tasting experiences which will appeal to both single malt lovers and those only at the beginning of their whisky journey. The Sense of Flavour tasting (£20, 6 visitors from 2 households) delves into Benriach’s production process and features a chance to sample the classic and smoky 10 and 12 year old whiskies. Alternatively, the Barrels, Butts, and Barriques experience (£45, 6 visitors from 2 households) will offer visitors the chance to taste five individual cask types, culminating in a tasting of the Benriach 21 year old, which showcases the artistry and expertise of Dr Rachel Barrie, Benriach’s Master Blender, and how she manages to build rich layers of flavour in a range of fruit-forward single malts. Barrie is a member of Whisky Magazine’s Hall of Fame and is one of the most renowned and gifted blenders in the industry, bringing over a quarter of a century of Scotch whisky making experience to Benriach. Visitors to the centre will also have the opportunity to explore their own flavour preferences by trying Benriach in several cocktail serves. A deconstructed cask tasting will also be available for those who wish to dive deeper into Benriach’s innovative heritage of eclectic cask maturation.
Visitor centre manager, Jennifer Proctor 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”.
With its design rooted in tradition whilst looking to the future, the Benriach visitor centre has been crafted using natural materials from local suppliers where possible, and has drawn inspiration from the natural colour palette of Speyside for its interior. External to the visitors building, one of Benriach’s most prominent warehouses has been whitewashed and branded to mark Benriach’s new identity – a practice traditionally adopted by ancient distilleries in Scotland.
Visitors are advised to pre-book their preferred tasting online before attending the distillery. The tasting experiences and the shop will open weekly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10.30am-5.00pm Distillery tours of the production site will be available when it is safe to do so.
For more information about the new Benriach Visitor Centre and how to book a tasting experience, please click here.