GLENGOYNE Distillery is celebrating the launch of a brand new shop and visitor centre upgrade on the back of its most successful summer ever.
The changes were completed in time for the end of the summer season which saw a massive 48,500 visitors through its doors – a six per cent rise on last year.
A total of £300,000 has been invested in the upgrade with further renovations planned for next year to the visitor attraction, which is situated just off the West Highland Way between Strathblane and Killearn.
This comes in addition to the £200,000 spent on renovating the Manager’s House in 2007 for use as an events space and more than £2.5million spent on operational upgrades to the distillery such as new warehousing and stills.
New features inside the shop include a tasting area and a ‘pour your own dram’ facility where guests are given the chance to fill and label their own bottle direct from an exclusive single cask, before logging it in the customs book.
Glengoyne Heritage Manager Stuart Hendry said: “The old shop area was very dark and didn’t make good use of space.
“Our brief to retail design agency Contagious was to create a brighter, more organised shopping area which showed off our award winning range but without losing the distinct Glengoyne character.
“I think we have hit the nail on the head and we are extremely happy with the outcome.
“Feedback from customers has been great and we have seen an increase in sales as a result.”
The shop renovations have allowed for the creation of a new bothy area where groups can relax before and after tours. Cosmetic upgrades have also been made to the visitor centre enabling the distillery to offer first class conference and events facilities.
A new series of Glengoyne films was also commissioned from Republic Productions to present a fun and informative look into life at the distillery for use during tours and events at the distillery and throughout the world.
The films range from a short two minute promotional film, tasting notes and cooking demonstrations to in-depth films on distillation and maturation, all highlighting what makes Glengoyne unique.
The well known characters from around the distillery including head stillman Duncan McNicoll and engineer and warehouseman Billy Edminston were chosen to star in the film, rather than actors, to help communicate the unique character of Glengoyne.
Mr Hendry said: “The two aspects that contribute most to the Glengoyne flavour are undoubtedly our distillation (the slowest in the industry) and our devotion to sourcing the finest possible sherry casks from Spain.
“In order to fully understand where those flavours come from we wanted to take consumers inside the stills and on a journey to Jerez.
“The feedback from viewers is hugely positive. They enjoy getting behind the scenes and meeting the people. Visitors take particular pleasure in speaking to the stars as they meet them around the distillery yard.”