A SPEYSIDE distillery is to open its doors to the public permanently – more than 120 years after its first spirit flowed through its stills.

The picturesque Speyburn Distillery in Rothes will now routinely offer tours following the success of its first-ever public opening during this year’s Spirit of Speyside Festival in May.

The distillery, which has been making single malt for 126 years, held a series of one-off events during the festival that sold out within 12 hours, culminating with it securing the “best new event” award.

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Bookings are now being taken for three daily tours at the distillery, which will run every week from Tuesdays to Saturdays from August 1.

Over one hour and 45 minutes, guests will be able to explore the site tucked away in a leafy glen on the edge of Forres near Aberlour, a picturesque location which inspired founder John Hopkins to choose the site to build the distillery in 1897.

Many of the original buildings, features, and stonework remain in place today, with the distillery continuing to draw water from the Granty Burn, and casks continuing to be filled for maturation in Speyburn’s traditional dunnage warehouses.

Visitors can look behind the scenes at the distiller’s Old Drum Maltings, a traditional maltings spread over three floors of rarely seen vintage equipment which was mothballed 50 years ago.

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Distillery manager Euan Henderson said: “There is something very special about the setting and atmosphere at Speyburn, perhaps because it’s quite a hidden distillery and one that has gone about the business of making award-winning drams that are loved the world over in a very quiet and modest way. But now it’s time to let the world in and we couldn’t be more excited.

“There’s no artifice about the visitor experience we have created. This will be a true taste of Speyside distillery life that will offer an accessible and enjoyable experience for all. This is about the people who make our whiskies welcoming guests into our home to share a taste of Speyburn single malts and the stories and secrets of how they are made. There’s 126 years of previously unseen distilling history here just waiting to be discovered in the heart of Speyside, so make sure you don’t miss your slot on one of our tours this summer.”