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Gordon & MacPhail names Cairn Distillery manager

Family-owned Gordon & MacPhail has recruited Mhairi Winters as the distillery manager for its new Cairn Distillery.

Cairn-Distillery Gordon & MacPhail
L-R: Mhairi Winters, Cairn Distillery manager, and Andy Kitchin, visitor experience manager

Gordon & MacPhail announced plans to build a distillery and visitor centre in Craggan, Speyside, in May 2018. The site is due to open this year.

Winters previously worked for William Grant & Sons as team leader for Balvenie and Kininvie Distilleries.

Winters has more than 20 years’ experience in the Scotch whisky industry, spanning roles from tour guide to technical support and production management.

“I feel incredibly lucky to be part of the team bringing The Cairn Distillery to life,” Winters said. “It’s not every day that a brand new distillery of this scale is built and it was an opportunity I couldn’t let pass me by.

“I’m extremely passionate about our industry and our products. I am excited to begin commissioning and start creating our new spirit.”

In addition, Gordon & MacPhail has appointed a visitor experience manager: Andy Kitchin.

Kitchin most recently worked at The Falkirk Wheel. Before this, he was at sea for more than 10 years, managing a number of visitor experience teams on P&O cruise ships.

Kitchin said: “For me, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of a stunning new venture in a wonderful part of the Scottish countryside. I am very much looking forward to opening our doors to welcome our visitors and let them share the Cairn experience.”

The Cairn Distillery will be the second facility under Gordon & MacPhail’s ownership, joining Benromach Distillery.

Ewen Mackintosh, managing director at Gordon & MacPhail, said: “We have been delighted by the incredibly positive welcome we’ve had locally. Now we have a local team in place we are keen to continue the process of building long term relationships with the community and local businesses.

“Andy in particular will be focusing very much on getting to know people in the local area while Mhairi focuses on the production of the Cairn spirit. I’m sure they will enjoy the same warm welcome we have already experienced.”

Last year, Gordon & MacPhail released the world’s oldest single malt whisky to date: Generations 80 Years Old.

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