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The Cairn Distillery - which opened its doors in October 2022 -  has today announced the release of CRN57 Step One – a limited-edition 12 years old blended malt Scotch whisky which marks the first step on the path to releasing its first single malt Scotch whisky. 

Step One is the first of a dozen new blended malts to be released annually each spring. The number of bottles available exclusively to visitors - 1,309 - matches the height, in metres, of the tallest Cairngorm Mountain, Ben Macdui.

The Cairn builds on 127-years of whisky expertise of its owners; malt whisky specialists Gordon & MacPhail.  Each of the CRN57 whiskies evoke the character and flavours yet to come from the single malts currently being distilled and matured at The Cairn Distillery which sits just outside Grantown-on-Spey, the first to be built in the area since the Cairngorms National Park was founded.

The Cairn sits on 57 degrees latitude from the equator and the CRN57 range features  whiskies from 12 Years Old up to 70 Years Old, the oldest blended malt Scotch whisky in the world. They have been designed to provide visitors with a chance to taste the future today, discovering a similar flavour profile to the single malts that will emerge from the distillery in the decades to come.

Step One has been bottled at 43% ABV. On the nose, fragrant treacle toffee aromas intertwine with baked apple and subtle hints of pineapple. Blackcurrant and sultanas then give way to mature oak.

On the palate, the smooth flavours of raspberry complement Seville orange zest and marzipan. Subtle coffee bean undertones develop alongside demerara sugar and toasted oak to give a full finish that with light spice and lingering milk chocolate notes.

Mhairi Winters, Distillery Manager at The Cairn, remarked: “Step One is the first in an annual series of releases that will take us towards the Cairn’s first single malt. It will provide visitors with a taste of what’s to come and with only a handful of bottles available, we expect this to be popular amongst collectors and explorers who are looking for something extra special and unique.

“The CRN57 blended malt whisky range is just the start of the journey for us, as we look to give our visitors a hint of what we are creating, all available exclusively at The Cairn Distillery”.

Nestled on the banks of the river Spey on the northern frontier of the Cairngorms National Park, every detail of The Cairn Distillery has been considered to create a remarkable structure that is reflective of its environment. From its sedum roof which encourages insect life to thrive, to the Caithness stone pathways, every aspect is designed to respect the natural shapes and colours around it. Reforestation projects are also underway to encourage native species and particular care has been taken to encourage the local population of rare goldeneye ducks.

CRN57 Step One can be purchased at a UK RRP of £49.99, exclusively at The Cairn Distillery.

Open all year round, visitor experiences start at £25, with three options for tours available.

For more information on CRN57 Step One or to book your trip to The Cairn Distillery, please visit: