Speyside Cooperage is situated 37
miles northeast of Aviemore,
56 miles northwest of Aberdeen,
close to the Whisky Towns of
Craigellachie, Aberlour, Dufftown, and
The Cooperage is open Monday to Friday
with Tours every half hour from 9.00am to
15.30pm. Closed at Christmas and New Year
for two weeks. Postcode: AB38 9RS.
See also a large Click On
Map for the area Towns and Top
The Image top is of the entrance to the
Speyside Cooperage with a large Car Park and
The Gardens and Cafe have a Barrel theme,
with Barrel Seats and Barrel Buildings.
There are two Tours available, one
inexpensive at about 45 minutes to view Barrels
being made, fired, or repaired from a
The VIP Tour lasts about 90 minutes,
allowing you to see up close Barrels being
made, and even having a go yourself. That Tour
also includes Whisky Tasting.
The way Barrels are made, and what they may
have been used for before, allows the
Distilleries to create their own unique
Many people visiting the Cooperage also
visit the Distilleries in the area, such
Dewar's in the village of Craigellachie half
of a mile north, but this Distillery does not
allow visits just now.
Distilleries for Visits are:
Glenfiddich - 3 miles southeast
Aberlour - 3 miles southwest
Macallan - 3 miles northwest
Glen Grant - 4 miles north
Glenfarclas - 7 miles
10 miles southwest
13 miles southwest
Glenlivet - 15
Strathisla - 13 miles
Glen Moray - 15 miles north
Dallas Dhu - 24 miles northwest
Benromach - 26 miles northwest
All Scotland Whisky Distillers that can
Speyside Cooperage History
1947 - the Speyside Cooperage was founded by
the Taylor family in the Village of
Craigellachie, growing to become the largest
independent Cooperage in the UK, later with
branches in Alloa, Kentucky, and Ohio.
1991 - the Speyside Cooperage was moved to
its present location, 1 mile south of
1992 - the Speyside Cooperage Visitor Centre
was opened to allow tourists to view Whisky
Barrels being made and repaired.
2008 - Speyside Cooperage was bought by
Tonnellerie Francois Freres Group, owners of a
number of Cooperages and Stave Mills.
2019 - a Macallan 1926 bottle of Whisky / 60
years old, sold for £1.5m at Auction. Rare Old
Whisky like this is now highly collectable,
unlikely ever to be drunk.
Many of these Barrels being repaired at the
Cooperage are former Oak Bourbon Barrels from
the US, or Oak Sherry Barrels from the EU.
Along with firing the inside of these Barrels,
adding flavours, and length of time the Whisky
is matured in the Barrels, leads to a vast
Range of Whisky, from 3 to 60 years old.
Flavours tend to be such as: Nutty, Peaty,
Most Scotch Whisky is Blended, either mixed
batches of Malt Whisky, or mixed batches of
Malt and Grain Whisky.
Malt Whisky is more expensive, as Malting of
the Barley is a time consuming process, soaking
and drying the Barley a number of times, with
that process allowing different strengths of
the Malt flavour to be achieved.
Grain Whisky is less expensive to make, with
different types of Grain put straight into the
Distilling process, but has less taste, so
Blending with Malt Whisky gives more taste at
Many less expensive Whisky brands have a low
percentage of Malt Whisky, high percentage of
Grain Whisky. This Whisky is exceptionally
popular for the price, with 3 Year Old Blended
about the same price as Standard Vodka.
Debates will always go on about what is the
best Whisky, blend, and what age. Scotch Whisky
is said to be at its best after matured in the
Barrel for 20 years, with 20 year old Whisky
about 10 times more expensive than a 3 year
The least expensive Scotch Whisky is 3 years
old Blended, the shortest time Whisky can be
matured for, containing a high percentage of
The best selling Scotch Whisky is Johnnie Walker,
with its inexpensive Red Label, 12 year old
Black Label, 15 year old Green Label, and 18
year old Platinum Label.
Johnnie Walker began Blending Whisky in the
1820s in Kilmarnock southwest Scotland,
becoming the biggest name in Whisky through his
At that time, you could only Blend Grain
with Grain, or Malt with Malt.
1860 - an act was passed making it legal to
Blend Malt and Grain Whisky, leading to a vast
number of new Whisky Blends.
Most Whisky is sold diluted with water until
it has an alcoholic strength of about 40% abv.
Growing in popularity is Cask-Strength Whisky,
normally between 50% and 75% abv.
Many Distilleries now allow you to fill a
bottle of your own, straight from a Barrel.
Many of the Malt Whisky Distillers are in
the Speyside area of Scotland, with the two
vast Scots Grain Distilleries being Cameron Bridge in Fife, and