Whisky Magazine Issue 79
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The distillery in Segovia, Spain, is one of whisky's best kept secrets and yet this year it is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Dominic Roskrow joined the fiesta.
Anyone who thinks that Mediterranean countries such as Spain have the wrong climate for whisky production should visit Segovia in mid winter.
The region lies about 75 minutes by car north of Madrid barricaded from the capital by the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains.
To reach it you pass through the lengthy Guadarrama Tunnel, which passes under Manzanare National Park, the road rising gradually,until you emerge into crisp and chill of the mountains, the snow piled by the side of the roads, the mountains themselves providing a stunning backdrop.
The distillery itself is no less impressive. It is sited close to the village of Plazuelos de Eresma, a short distance from the compact and stunning town of Segovia itself. It nestles in a valley and nothing can quite prepare you for the surprise of seeing it for the first time as you approach it down a steep curving road-track. It is surrounded by lush trees, the Rio Eresma crashes past it on the valley floor, steam engulfs its pagoda roof. It's a little slice of Scotland in the most unlikeliest of places.
This is Distilerio Molino del Arco, run by Distilerias Y Crianza del Whisky and a distillery that is now part of the Beam Global portfolio.
Or should that be distilleries. For this site is something of a whisky one-stop shop, made up of a single malt distillery, a grain one, maltings, blending rooms, vodka and gin distilling, a bottling plant and a packaging operation that employs 50 people and which puts together a number of comb...