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WATCH: Singleton of Glen Ord to open new visitor centre on Friday as part of multinational drinks giant Diageo's investment in Scotch whisky tourism


By Federica Stefani

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A HIGHLAND distillery will open the doors of its transformed visitor centre to the public on Friday, with an online event to unveil the new building set to be live streamed online tonight.

The Singleton's new brand home at Glen Ord distillery, near Muir of Ord, will welcome members of the public again on July 8 with a transformed visitor centre with a shop, new tasting areas, a video room and a swanky new cafe which aims to showcase local producers.

An online launch is also planned at 6pm today (July 6), which will be live streamed on The Singleton's official Facebook page.

The launch comes as part of a £185 million investment plan in Scotch whisky tourism by multinational drinks giant Diageo, who owns the distillery and the brand.

Barbara Smith (Managing Director of Diageo’s Scotland Brand Homes) Tony Singh MBE and Craig Mills (Operations Director, NC500). Picture by: Alison Gilbert
Barbara Smith (Managing Director of Diageo’s Scotland Brand Homes) Tony Singh MBE and Craig Mills (Operations Director, NC500). Picture by: Alison Gilbert

Ewan Gunn, senior global Scotch whisky ambassador for The Singleton, said: “The opening of The Singleton provides a great new space for the local community. As an Inverness resident, I see how busy the city is every summer with tourists travelling the Highlands, and the distillery experience is a fantastic destination for those tourists and local residents to visit and enjoy, right on our doorstep. The bar space acts as a luxury venue to enjoy teas, coffees, cocktails and, of course, whisky.

“We’ve also worked with local businesses from the beginning of the refurbishment to showcase local talent, bringing in suppliers such as Bad Girl Bakery to our deli counter and working with Beauly based artist Clair Blois for a special art piece.”

The new visitor experience will offer whisky tours alongside a new freshly-designed bar featuring social and tasting spaces serving a host of drams, cocktails and other drinks.

The cafe will also have a deli counter with a selection of sharing platters created in partnership with local suppliers on offer, with delicacies from smoked duck breast and hot poached salmon, to vegan and vegetarian options being served.

A collection of desserts from neighbouring Bad Girl Bakery will be also on the menu.

For the occasion, the The Singleton of Glen Ord has released a Celebratory bottling, an edition of Glen Ord spirit matured in second-fill sherry casks limited to 3000 bottles, which will only be available at the distillery's new shop.

Celebrity chef Tony Singh created a menu exclusively for the The Singleton's brand home launch. Picture by: Alison Gilbert.
Celebrity chef Tony Singh created a menu exclusively for the The Singleton's brand home launch. Picture by: Alison Gilbert.

Exclusively for the launch celebrations, renowned Scottish chef Tony Singh created a menu to pair with The Singleton of Glen Ord Celebratory bottling, a special edition liquid created to commemorate the opening.

Details on how to recreate the menu at home will be available on the brand's social channels.

Tony Singh's menu for the The Singleton's launch. Picture by: Grant Anderson.
Tony Singh's menu for the The Singleton's launch. Picture by: Grant Anderson.
The new visitor centre boasts a finely designed new bar and cafe space. Pictures by: Federica Stefani.
The new visitor centre boasts a finely designed new bar and cafe space. Pictures by: Federica Stefani.
The new visitor centre and cafe. Pictures by: Federica Stefani.
The new visitor centre and cafe. Pictures by: Federica Stefani.

Works for the new visitor centre started back in August 2021 for a full upgrade of the visitor centre's space, although no changes to the distillery itself with the exception of newly designed signage being introduced.

This will see Glen Ord joining Clynelish as well as Talisker and Caol Ila among others in a major investment plan aimed at promoting whisky tourism across Digeo's whisky distilleries in the country.

Sitting at the start of the route, The Singleton of Glen Ord is a corporate partner of the North Coast 500.

The new video room in the visitor centre. Picture by: Federica Stefani.
The new video room in the visitor centre. Picture by: Federica Stefani.

North Coast 500 operations director, Craig Mills, said: “It is great to see investment of this scale being made in the Highlands and Islands and we are sure the brilliantly revamped The Singleton of Glen Ord will become a fast favourite with locals and tourists alike

“The location makes it a fantastic option to either start or end your NC500 journey on, and while passengers can enjoy their drams on site, the great inclusion of drivers’ packs ensure that nobody misses out, and samples can be savoured once safely parked up.”

Barbara Smith, Managing Director of Diageo’s Scotland Brand Homes, said: “The Singleton is one of the most exciting single malt brands in the world and we are delighted to be opening the doors to the brand’s new home at Glen Ord Distillery.

“Our £185million investment in Scotch whisky tourism is designed to put Scotland at the forefront of the global trend in food and drink tourism by giving consumers a truly world-class experience at our distilleries. This just the start of an incredible summer of Scotch whisky investment, with Talisker and Caol Ila distillery’s also launching new visitor experiences, and we want to use that to build momentum in the recovery of Scottish tourism.”

Diageo's new direction is to promote a more modern approach to Scotch whisky. Picture by: Federica Stefani.
Diageo's new direction is to promote a more modern approach to Scotch whisky. Picture by: Federica Stefani.

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