The Speyside Cooperage is at the epicentre of the whisky industry’s cask manufacturing and management. The centre received casks from all around the world, which in turn make their way to distilleries across Scotland. Each year they make and repair over 100,000 casks – barrels, hogsheads, butts and puncheons.
Oak is the only wood that can be used to produce casks for wines and spirits as it prevents seepage and allows the contents to breathe without spoiling the flavour.
The art of the cooper takes years to master. The coopers of Speyside build and repair casks from all over the world using only natural materials. Not a drop of glue or a single nail is used. Casks will often be ‘fired’ when they arrive to char the interior, and many will be ex-bourbon, port, sherry, or peated casks which give the whisky the bulk of its unique flavour.
The Five Star award winning Acorn to Cask exhibition will take you on a journey through the lifecycle of the cask, where you will see our coopers at work, still using the traditional methods and tools. The site also hosts a large gift shop, full of great whisky gifts. Learn what the casks are used for today and see the truly unique and ancient craft of barrel making.
Types of Tour
Due to COVID-19, only the Classic Tour is currently available.
Our knowledgeable guides will accompany you through the exhibition which includes an informative 4-D cinematic audio visual presentation followed by a visit to our viewing gallery where you can watch first hand our Coopers at work accompanied by one of our knowledgeable guides. Booking is advisable particularly in Summer months.
Duration: 45 minutes (approx)
Cost: £4.00 per person
Please email or call us on 01340 871108 to arrange.
An experienced former Cooper will guide you through the visitor centre giving a tour beginning with our 4D sensory cinematic video presentation where you will experience the sights, sounds and aromas of our working cooperage.
You will then visit the viewing gallery where you can watch first hand our Coopers at work and even try your hand at building the on-site miniature barrels! After this, you will be escorted down on to the shop floor to see the Coopers and their Apprentices up close as they repair casks at lightning speed. Witness the firing/charring of the casks and get some amazing photo opportunities.
Go on to a reserved area in our coffee shop to enjoy a dram of our own label 10 year old single malt whisky served to enjoy with locally shortbreads and biscuits and your choice from our speciality teas and coffees.
A Speyside Cooperage Glencairn tasting glass in a gift box is yours to keep along with a Cooperage Golf/Bar Towel.
The VIP tour is available to over 18’s only and must be booked in advance. Maximum of 8 persons and subject to availability. £30 per person lasting approximately 90 minutes. Runs at either 10.00 or 14.00.
Speyside Cooperage will be closed over Christmas and New Year for four weeks.
You can discover the ancient art of cooperage on Dufftown Road, Craigellachie, Banffshire, Scotland AB38 9RS.
Postcode for directions and Sat Nav devices is AB38 9RS.
We are serviced by the no 36 bus route which runs between Elgin and Dufftown and Elgin Train Station is 12 miles away on the A941.