It was a true family affair on Thursday Nov 7 as HRH The Princess Royal presented the
Queen’s Award for International Trade to whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail.
For members of the third and fourth generations of the family-owned whisky specialist and
distiller were on hand to meet The Princess Royal as she toured the company’s premises at
As Managing Director Michael Urquhart toured the site with The Princess Royal, he introduced various members of staff who, he explained, had all played their part in the successful growth of the company. “Winning this award is a fantastic achievement and recognises the hard work of everyone in the team, as well as our customers and suppliers across the world. “
Amongst those meeting The Princess Royal were recent recipients of the Celebrating Success Award which is given to members of staff who, in the view of their colleagues, have conducted themselves in a manner which exemplifies the company’s values and culture. Gordon & MacPhail was established in 1895 and is one of the world’s leading malt whisky specialists. The company offers more than 300 presentations of own-bottled single malts and exports to more than 55 countries.
A major factor in the company’s export success has been the continuing growth in sales of Benromach which have increased by more than a third in the first seven months of this year alone.
Gordon & MacPhail brought the Benromach Distillery back to life in 1998 when it was officially re-opened by HRH The Prince of Wales. Since then the Forres distillery has enjoyed significant growth in both the UK and overseas markets of its hand-crafted single malt whiskies, including the flagship Benromach 10 Years Old.
HRH The Princess Royal toured the bottling hall and the warehouse, where she saw some of Gordon & MacPhail’s casks of maturing whisky including some from the 1940s and 1950s. She also met one of the fourth generation members of the family working in the business, Stuart Urquhart, who highlighted two expressions from the Gordon & MacPhail portfolio.
The first, a Glen Grant 60 Years Old, was released in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen. The second was a Generations Glenlivet 70 Years Old, one of two Generations whiskies which are the world’s oldest single malt whiskies.
The Generations range was launched in 2010 and continues to be highly sought after as part of the extensive range of single malt whiskies Gordon & MacPhail offer to the market. As a result total exports have almost doubled in three years to more than £6m in 2012.
The family-owned company has been based in Moray since it was established more than a century ago and its directors and staff all play an active role in the local community. As Michael Urquhart explained: “We were particularly delighted that HRH The Princess Royal came here today to present the Queen’s Award, given her long association with the area.” Gordon & MacPhail employs almost 140 people in Elgin and Forres. Custodians of some of Scotland’s oldest and rarest casks, the company bottles over 300 different expressions of Scotch Whisky.