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Gordon & MacPhail | Benromach Distillery – Master’s Distillery Visit

My sixth visit of the twelve in my year took me to Elgin and Forres, in the beautiful Moray region of north east Scotland.

The purpose of these visits is to focus on our wonderful product, raise our Livery profile, celebrate our charitable partnerships and impact, marking 350 years as a Livery in as many geographical regions with as many people from our industry as possible across the land as time allows during my year. The fact that hospitality and our Livery are open for business again across the country after two very challenging years – reason alone for a cause for celebration!

It has been a total pleasure thus far to have visited five outstanding distilleries and my visit to Gordon & MacPhail’s the Benromach distillery in Forres, was no exception.

L – R: The Master, Maya McNeill, Stuart Urquhart (Benromach) Lianne Williams (Enable Scotland). Ewen Macintosh, Kirsten Bryceland and Becky Pearce (Benromach)

Warmly welcomed by Liveryman and Gordon & MacPhail’s Managing Director, Ewen MacKintosh and Chairman of our Scottish Committee, Michael Urquhart CBE, I was superbly entertained to dinner at Orrin, a local restaurant in Elgin which had opened especially for us on a Monday night.

Not a night for speeches of formality, it was the most convivial night, culminating in the most unexpected presentation to me, or, more accurately, to the Distiller’s Charity. A bottle of 1952 single malt Glen Grant, bottled in 2022 to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

A happy co-incidence then that 2022 should also be our 350th Anniversary! We owe Ewen and Gordon and MacPhail a huge debt of gratitude for the donation of such a rare and no doubt sought after item.

After a meeting brief with Ewen and his international marketing and development team of Kirsten and Maya and HR Director, Becky we were taken on a guided tour of the distillery and warehouses at Benromach, the highlight being re-acquainted with the 1952 bottle of single malt and a viewing of some amazing casks.

Ewen MacKintosh presenting a bottle of 1952 Glen Grant to The Master

Our friends at Whisky.Auction have kindly agreed to include this in their forthcoming auction in the charity section – all proceeds from it’s sale will go towards this year’s 350th Anniversary Appeal. Subscribers to Whisky.Auction will see notice of when it’s sale will take place on the Charity section of the Whisky.Auction website. Thanks to Isabel Graham-Youll and her team for providing the platform for our sale, once again.

My visits to Scotland also give the opportunity to meet and talk to the charities specifically supported by The Distiller’s Charity’s Youth Action Fund (YAF). It was great to have attended the launch of YAF with Livery colleagues at the Scottish Whisky Experience in Edinburgh in March this year.

There we met representatives from the Alcohol Education Trust, Street League, Aberdeen Foyer and Enable Scotland, four charities who will benefit directly from the proceeds of our incredible One of One Auction in December.

I therefore felt it very important, that some of my visits should show the impact that our funding is having. I was delighted and moved to hear of the transformational effect that it is delivering and the opportunities made possible to the lives of the beneficiaries of these four amazing charities support.

Thank you Gordon and MacPhail and the team at Benromach who made me so welcome in what was a very special day and a very proud one for our Livery.

This visit also made the local press:

To celebrate 350 years of the company, the Master is visiting distilleries the length and breadth of the UK, to raise awareness of the work that it does and to experience the best companies in the business.

Dram Scotland | Full article

Another reason for the Benromach visit was to collect items for the Distillers One of One auction, a regular event to which Gordon & MacPhail, the distillery’s owners, frequently donate.

The last auction raised over £2.5 million which was distributed between a selection of charities that help young people across Scotland.

Forres Gazette | Full article

Chris Porter
Master 2021-22