Revealed: Scotch Whisky Firm Unveils Name for its Second Distillery

GORDON & MacPhail, the venerable whisky merchant, has today revealed the name for its new Scotch whisky distillery.

The historic company has called the new Speyside-based distillery The Cairn, in acknowledgement of its location overlooking the Cairngorm mountains.

Work is under way on the facility, which Gordon & MacPhail hopes will be making whisky by the end of 2021, before opening to the general public in the spring of 2022. A visitor centre, tasting rooms, retail space and coffee shop will form part of the destination.

The Cairn will be the second distillery in the Gordon & MacPhail family, joining the Benromach, which opened in Forres, Speyside, in 1993.

Ian Chapman, brands director at Gordon & MacPhail, said: “We have put the consumer right at the heart of the process of creating the brand, as we have with the design of the distillery itself. We wanted to make sure it was clearly Scottish, but easy for consumers to pronounce and to spell. This will be particularly important for our international markets when English is not the first language.

“We also had to be mindful of Benromach, our other distillery. We wanted the new brand to complement, not compete.”

Gordon & MacPhail said it worked alongside Good, a Glasgow-based branding agency, on a project to come up with the name, with staff and other stakeholders asked to submit ideas. More than 300 suggestions were made.

Mr Chapman said: “The brand is eye-catching and contemporary and the approach to develop it put the consumer at the centre of our thinking. It is the same approach we have taken to designing The Cairn Distillery itself.

“The modern building takes advantage of the outstanding views across the River Spey to the Cairngorms and has been designed with the customer at the centre of the experience.”

In an interview with The Herald in September, Ewen Mackintosh, managing director of Gordon & MacPhail, explained the new distillery would embody a more modern approach to distilling compared with the Benromach.

“The whole process will be automated,” Mr Mackintosh said.

“Whereas at Benromach someone walks up to a valve or button, we will fundamentally be running the [new] distillery on iPads and PCs, retaining the knowledge of the operators. It will provide a real contrast.”