Gordon & MacPhail has put the management team is in place to run their new distillery being built on the outskirts of Grantown on Spey.
Distillery manager Mhairi Winters and visitor experience manager Andy Kitchin are already hard at work getting ready to begin whisky production and to welcome visitors from summer 2022.
The pair bring with them a wealth of experience in whisky production and visitor management.
Mhairi Winters joins Gordon & MacPhail from William Grant & Sons Distillers, where she was team leader for Balvenie and Kininvie Distilleries.
Mhairi has worked in the Scotch whisky industry for twenty years in a variety of industry roles from tour guide to technical support and then production management.
Mhairi said: ‘I feel incredibly lucky to be part of the team bringing The Cairn Distillery to life. 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.’
Meanwhile Andy Kitchin has most recently been part of the team managing the visitor experience at The Falkirk Wheel.
Before working with Scottish Canals, he was at sea for more than 10 years, managing multiple visitor experience teams onboard P&O cruise ships. He has worked at various luxury Scottish leisure resorts, but has always been focused on creating lasting memories, whether on land or sea.
Andy added: ‘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 will be the second distillery for Scotch malt whisky experts Gordon & MacPhail who bought and re-equipped Benromach Distillery at Forres in the 1990s.
The company prides itself on the positive relationships it has built with the local community in the areas in which it works and has been keen to replicate that approach in Grantown.
Ewen Mackintosh, managing director at Gordon & MacPhail, explained: ‘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.’
The Cairn lies in a spectacular location, looking out across the River Spey towards the Cairngorm Mountains. It will offer a range of immersive visitor experiences, whisky tastings and bistro with a menu shaped by ingredients from the local area.