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High Spirits as Benromach achieves Five Stars

Press Release   •   Sep 10, 2018 13:52 BST

Susan Colville, Benromach Brand Home manager (left) receives the award from VisitScotland Regional Director, Jo Robinson.

A family-owned distillery in Moray Speyside which attracts more than 13,000 visitors per year has achieved its Five Star Visitor Attraction status from VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme.

BenromachDistillery in Forres makes whisky the traditional way by hand. Now exported around the world, Benromach single malt Scotch provides whisky lovers with a lost taste of Speyside.

The distillery was closed in 1983 and lay silent for many years before being brought back to life by the Urquhart family. Reopened in 1998 by His Royal Highness the Duke of Rothesay, Benromach offers visitors five different tours, including the ‘Classic’, the ‘Contrast’, and the ‘Meet the Maker’ tour. It also hosts tastings for visitors who can’t attend a tour along with special events throughout the year.

Visitors can see the distillers at work as they orchestrate every second of the production by sight, sound and touch. Tour guides take visitors around their boby mill, mash tun, wooden washbacks, copper stills, spirit safe, filling room, dunnage warehouses and visitor centre.

On Monday 3September, the distillery unveiled Benromach Cask No 1, an incredibly rare and limited-edition expression taken from the first cask that was laid down when the distillery reopened. All profits from the sale of Cask No 1 will be donated to charitable causes.

The popular distillery also launched its Red Door Gin in July – named after the distinctive red doors at the distillery. It is hoped the new gin visitor experience will attract another 10,000 visitors per year. When opened, visitors will hear the story of Red Door Gin’s handmade copper still, ‘Peggy’, how the distillers create each batch of Red Door Gin and the secrets of creating ‘perfect serves’.

Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: Achieving Five Star Visitor Attraction status demonstrates that the owners of Benromach Distillery have put in a tremendous effort to provide a very high level of service to their guests, and I would like to congratulate them for that.

“Whisky is one of Scotland’s most valuable commodities, with visitors from all over the world coming to our shores to experience an authentic Scottish dram.

“Whisky tourism has a strong record of investing in and improving the visitor experience, which is paying dividends for communities by creating jobs and sustainable sources of income.

“I hope their success is an inspiration to others to strive for a Five Star award, which helps to raise the profile of the industry as well as promote this beautiful part of Scotland.”

Susan Colville, Benromach Brand Home manager, said: “The Quality Assurance scheme from VisitScotland is recognised by tourists from all over the world and we are delighted to have achieved Five Star status for our visitor centre at Benromach Distillery.

“We have seen a steady increase in visitors over the last five years, from 8,000 in 2013 to 13,500 in 2017 with May, June and August at record figures. Our flagship expression, Benromach 10 Years Old, is now available around the world. It has a beautifully balanced classic Speyside single malt character with a touch of light peat smoke. It’s perfect for those who enjoy the sweet notes of a traditional Speyside whisky.

“As one of only a few distilleries in Scotland where all our whiskies are crafted by hand, our visitors can enjoy a highly personal and up-close experience. We don’t use computers or even pressure gauges here so it is possible to witness our distillers using all their senses to handcraft the distinctive Benromach taste.

“We are continually improving the visitor experience and this award is testament to the hard work of everyone involved in the creation of Benromach single malt Scotch whisky and a great achievement in our 20th anniversary year.”

For more information about Quality Assurance, visit www.visitscotland.org and for more information about the distillery, visit www.benromach.com

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