The Macallan Distillery was established by Alexander Reid in 1824 when he obtained a license to operate a distillery on a small hill, overlooking the River Spey, in the village of Craigellachie. Roderick Kemp became the new owner of the Macallan distillery in 1892. Kemp then set to work rebuilding the distillery, improving the stills, adding new warehouse facilities, and other buildings. Kemp continued to make improvements through to the end of the century and expand Macallan’s production. He also developed most of the company’s quality standards, which included ageing its whiskies only in unbroken Spanish oak sherry casks. Although Kemp died in 1909, the management of the distillery was taken over by The Roderick Kemp Trust and the Kemp family remained in control until it was acquired by Highland Distillers Ltd in 1996. During the early 1960s there was a rise in interest for single malt whisky which encouraged Macallan to increase its whisky production however, they maintained their commitment to traditional distilling methods that included the use of small, handcrafted stills. So instead of converting to larger, industrial-sized stills, the company began adding new matching small stills, doubling the number of stills to 12, in 1965. In 1970, the company began construction of a new generation of stills, adding another six in 1974 and three more the following year to reach a total of 21 stills. During the 1990s, following a series of cross sharing ownership agreements the distillery was acquired by the Edrington Group. In 2004 the Fine Oak range was introduced, this new single malt is matured in carefully selected European and American oak casks, which have previously held Sherry or Bourbon.
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