The Macallan Estate has announced the highly anticipated return of its immersive theatre experience, The Macallan Estate Pioneers Experience, which has been adapted for 2023 with an inspiring new script featuring the remarkable story of former managing director, Janet Harbinson.

I was fortunate enough to partake in a sneak preview of the show in London, hosted at the Conduit restaurant in Covent Garden. While the space lacked the dramatic natural beauty of Speyside, The Macallan spared no expense in transforming the room with lush green grass, fragrant heathers, and an array of flora and fauna to transport us to the Scottish Highlands.

The immersive performance was elevated by an exceptional selection of drams, including new make spirit that allowed us to explore and appreciate its initial flavor profile. I found cereal notes being beautifully complemented by orchard fruits and pear drops, giving a rare insight into how all Macallan whisky starts its life.

This was followed by a Amontillado sherry that hinted at the casks in which The Macallan will be aged. I found this very usefull, especially when tasting the Edition 6 being able to look for the flavours previously encountered, which were very much in evidence, alongside toffee, ginger, orange peel, prunes and dark chocolate. It was delicious.

After enjoying a delicious dinner that included lobster and scallop brioche rolls, Norfolk asparagus, and Scottish steelhead trout, we indulged in the iconic Macallan 18 Year Old Sherry Oak. This core age statement personifiesThe Macallan, and really is at its sweet spot, where the integration of fruit and wood gives rise to a beautifully complex dram. It boasts dark berries, vanilla, honey, chocolate, coffee, hints of spice, and a lingering finish. It’s no surprise that it has become a benchmark bottle found in the finest hotels across the globe.

The Macallan is positioned in the top tier of whisky brands globally, with excellence at its core. Those visiting the estate this summer are able to pre-book the Pioneeers Experience, elevating their trip to another level. With regular flights to Inverness there really is no excuse not to take in the stunning scenery of the Highlands, warm hospitality of the Scots, and enjoy some of the finest whisky alongside the performing arts.

The Macallan Estate Pioneers Experience

Following the success of The Spirit of 1926, The Macallan’s first biopic that was released in November 2022, The Pioneers Experience is a theatrical journey that takes guests on an unforgettable adventure through The Macallan’s 485-acre Estate, allowing them to relive some of the distillery’s most notable moments and meet some of its most legendary characters from the past.

Janet Harbinson, affectionately known as ‘Nettie’, played a crucial role in The Macallan’s history. After her beloved husband Alexander, who had been running the distillery at the time, passed away in 1918, Nettie took charge of the business to ensure the distillery would continue to thrive for its employees and the local community. Through her unwavering dedication to craftsmanship and care for those around her, she successfully kept the business running and played a vital role in rebuilding the local area.

Written by acclaimed actress and voice artist Debra Weston, whose impressive film credits include Patriot Games, Thunderbirds, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the script for The Macallan Estate Pioneers Experience takes audiences on Nettie’s journey, including her crafting of the most valuable bottle of wine or spirit ever sold at auction, The Macallan Fine & Rare 1926.

The experience will be brought to life by professional actors and actresses through a promenade theatre format along the banks of the River Spey. Guests will travel back in time to visit rarely seen locations throughout the Estate while enjoying a picnic lunch with Nettie and Alexander and other iconic figures, such as Captain John Grant, who was the first to recognize the potential of Easter Elchies Estate, the land that has been home to The Macallan Distillery since 1824.

Launching on Friday 7 July and running until Sunday 23 July 2023, this exclusive outdoor experience sees guests served select drams of The Macallan along the way, completing their journey through history with a whisky production tour.

Stuart Cassells, General Manager at The Macallan Estate, said, “We’re thrilled to be the first single malt Scotch whisky distillery to bring our rich heritage to life through live performance. Nettie’s story is one of quiet heroism and profound legacy, which has informed the Estate’s past and played a significant role in shaping our future.”

“The Macallan Estate Pioneers Experience is one of the most significant events in our calendar. It returns for 2023 with an exciting twist, thanks to the help of Debora Weston and an exceptional team of actors from across Scotland.”

As part of the exclusive, three-hour experience, guests will also explore areas of The Macallan Distillery that are not usually open to the public, including Warehouse No 7, one of The Macallan’s oldest warehouses.

The Macallan Estate Pioneers Experience is priced at £80 per guest.

The Macallan