HRH Prince Charles with Ian Urquhart Signing First Cask at Benromach.
HRH Prince Charles with Ian Urquhart Signing First Cask at Benromach.

Former Gordon & MacPhail chief Ian Urquhart dies following an illness

Scotch whisky legend Ian Urquhart has died aged 76.

The Moray based businessman died peacefully on 15 March after an illness, with his family by his side.

Ian joined his family firm, Gordon & MacPhail, in 1967 and worked his way up to become managing director until 2007, when he retired.

His contribution to Scotch whisky was recognised in the 2022 Queen’s Platinum Jubilee honours list with a CBE, together with his brother Michael.

Ian was also A Keeper of the Quaich, received a Life Time Achievement award from the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival and was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Glasgow Caledonian University

Ian Urquhart.

‘From when he first joined the business in the late 1960s, he built an unparalleled knowledge for maturing Scotch whisky, which he subsequently passed onto the next generation working for the company,’ said Ewen Mackintosh, managing director of Gordon & MacPhail.

‘He was also a driving force behind the company’s decision to purchase and re-equip Benromach Distillery in 1993 and played the lead role in creating the whisky style and the principles for maturation at Benromach.’

Ian was a man with an international outlook but one rooted in the place he called home.

Lord Lieutenant of Moray Seymour Monro said: ‘He was a wise and proactive Deputy Lieutenant for Moray. Ian was also a generous benefactor including being a strong supporter of the Moray Emergency Relief Fund during the Pandemic.

‘Many people in Elgin and Moray – and indeed internationally – have much to thank Ian for. He was a wonderful and lovely gentleman who will be sorely missed by his family and many friends.’

It was his family role which meant more to him than anything. Above all else he will be remembered for his love, warmth and wise counsel as a father, grandfather, brother, uncle, husband, colleague or friend

Ian is survived by his second wife Nichola, son Neil and daughter Jenny, sister Rosemary and brother Michael and grandchildren Iona, Emma, Eilidh, Eddie, Kirsty and Chloe.

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