Whisky specialists Gordon and MacPhail will undertake a multimillion-pound makeover of their South Street shop. The transformation will create a unique whisky experience. It will incorporate displays, tasting rooms and a liquid library of some of the world’s rarest whiskies. The transfer of their shop will be a temporary one to the High Street, next to the entrance to the St Giles Centre during construction. Director of Prestige Stephen Rankin believes the firm’s ability to adapt over the years has been key to its’ success.  He explained: “We have been here since 1895 and South Street is, and will remain, the spiritual home of Gordon & MacPhail. It’s a destination for many whisky aficionados from around the world. Our ability to adapt in changing times over more than a century, has been a major factor in our success as a company. This substantial investment is another exciting step on our journey from a local grocer’s shop to internationally-renowned whisky experts and distillers”.

Grocers played a vital role in the development of the industry, using their skills for blending tea to produce blended whisky. Gordon & MacPhail took an alternative path and focused on single malts, developing their expertise in maturation.” What are the plans for the Elgin whisky experience? The work will take place throughout 2023 and involves improvements and repairs to the exterior of the building. Internally, there will be a complete refit of the ground and first floors. This, it is hoped, will transform the space into a must-visit destination for lovers of whisky. It has seen many changes over the years and originally housed the offices and boardroom for Gordon & MacPhail before they moved to larger premises, with warehousing, at Boroughbriggs Road.

Mr Rankin added: “We see this as a major vote of confidence in Elgin. We believe the new whisky tourist attraction will bring people into the area. Creating experiences is a key element of any strategy to revitalise town centres. We also hope the relocation of our retail shop, which will open in the next few months, will give a boost to the High Street.”

The shop on South Street will close its’ doors on Hogmanay. This will give staff time to move the stock before work starts. I heard this news just before Christmas when I was in a meeting at the shop, looking forward to our bookings for 2023- Paul McLean.

PS Look out for our blog on the new Cairn Distillery, coming soon