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Issue 36 - Acting the part

Whisky Magazine Issue 36
December 2003

 

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Acting the part

It was only amatter of time before Monarch of the Glen discovered whisky. Gavin Smith reports.

The scene: A Highland distillery close to the River Spey. The action: The distillery owner walks down the steps from the boardroom at the conclusion of a meeting, followed by a number of tweedy men.

So far, so traditional. But the owner is a beautiful young blonde dressed in a stylish cream trouser suit.

No, this isn't another of those not altogether salubrious dreams I have.

This is real life. Of sorts.
For the Speyside distillery, located just across the River Spey from the Inverness-shire village of Kingussie, has been transformed into the fictional Lagganmore distillery, and is serving as a film set for the fifth series of the BBC Scotland television drama series Monarch of the Glen.

The last series of Monarch regularly attracted 8.5m viewers in the United Kingdom and was sold to 24 countries around the world, including the United States of America, Canada and Australia, which means that this is an invaluable shop window for the Scotch whisky industry.

According to Monarch of the Glen producer Stephen Garwood, “the show is very much about Scotland and we are always trying to make stories relevant to Scotland. It's a fact that whisky is a primary source of interest in this country.

“We'd never seen a distillery on Monarch before, and apart from anything else it makes a fantastic backdrop to the action.

“We wanted to feature a local business, and we all came to the conclusion that it would be great to do a distillery story.

“Early on, we sent the writer...

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