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‘Single estate’ Scotch set for launch

Production of what is reportedly Scotland’s first single estate whisky is underway at the Ballindalloch Distillery in the Spey Valley.

The 22nd and 23rd generations of the MacPherson-Grant family, Mrs Clare Russell and her son Guy, fill cask number one (Photo: Facebook)

Housed on the ancient Ballindalloch estate, which has been in the ownership of the MacPherson-Grant family since the mid-16th century, the newly created distillery officially got up and running in September.

However, tours of the grand manor, the distillery, and tastings of the family’s private casks are now available as their first spirit production on the site reaches the cask-ageing stage.

Current inhabitant of the estate and the founder of the distillery, Guy MacPherson-Grant, told the Press and Journal that the “single estate” approach to his whisky – similar to that taken by fine wine producers – is what will set it apart.

“The main principle behind calling it a single estate whisky is that around 80% of the tradesmen, joiners, stonemasons, tilers and of course our distillers all come from within 20 miles of the distillery,” he told the newspaper.

Employing three people, the distillery was part of the recent Helping it Happen campaign that aimed to highlight how landowners can boost tourism in rural Scotland and provide jobs.

“Everything about the terroir, or in Gaelic the Àrainneachd, that the whisky is composed of is sourced from the estate.

“The water comes from the hills, the barley comes from the fields, the people that made the equipment, the people that make the whisky, and we even feed the draff from the distillery to the cattle that graze the estate’s fields, so the whisky really is all from our single estate,” he is quoted as saying.

The first bottling is being predicted to take place in the next eight-to-ten years.

For now, visitors to the distillery are being reminded of the project as a work-in-progress by the company website: “You may be asked to wear a hard hat while we add the finishing touches!”

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