One of the new distilleries currently under construction in Scotland is near Grantown.
Family-owned whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail (G&M) is spending £20 million on the project.
The distillery, to be known as The Cairn, is due to open next summer.
Elgin-based G&M describes itself as the world’s leading malt whisky specialist.
It was originally established as a grocery business in 1895 before expanding its interests. The company also owns Benromach distillery in Forres.
Bulk of the work going to nearby firms
In the construction of The Cairn, it is showing an ongoing commitment to local business – with more than 90% of the work going to firms from the nearby area.
Contracts for work as varied as earthworks and scaffolding went to companies based in Moray, the Highlands and Aberdeenshire.
The Cairn’s name reflects the distillery’s location overlooking the Cairngorm mountains, at the gateway to Speyside.
Work started on site in July last year and by the start of this month the structure of the building was largely complete.
The last stages of the cladding, as well as the roof and windows, are currently being installed.
Distillation equipment is in the final stages of installation before commissioning. The next phase of work at the site is the visitor centre.
G&M managing director Ewen Mackintosh said: “The Cairn is a key part of the company’s commitment to a long-term sustainable business.
“With the expected increase in demand for single malt whisky, it will allow us to add further distillation capacity and offer a high-quality visitor experience.”
G&M was in the news earlier this month when it unveiled the world’s oldest single malt in London.
Only 250 special bottles of the 80-year-old from Glenlivet distillery are available, with the first decanter due to be auctioned on October 7.
The auction will benefit Findhorn-based environmental charity Trees for Life, whose mission is to rewild the Caledonian Forest.
The 80-year-old whisky was poured into its cask on February 3 1940, under the watch of George Urquhart – a member of the second generation of G&M’s owning family – and his father, John.
Internationally renowned architect and designer Sir David Adjaye has designed the decanter and oak box for the whisky.
Mr Mackintosh said: “The decanter and oak pavilion that David has created for our historic release is a true reflection of this art. The presentation is itself a work of art.
“I’m sure George Urquhart and his father, John, who had the extraordinary foresight to lay down spirit from the Glenlivet distillery in a bespoke Gordon & MacPhail cask to be enjoyed after their lifetime, would love the design.”
All eyes on the price
There will be much interest in the whisky world in how much decanter No1 fetches in the auction.
Last October a single bottle of Scotch broke the record for most expensive wine or spirit ever sold at auction.
The Macallan Fine and Rare 60-Year-Old went for around £1.37m.