Leading malt whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail has announced the appointment of Stephen Rankin as the company’s first Director of Prestige.
Stephen will nurture and build relationships for Gordon & MacPhail’s range of single malt whiskies in the global luxury consumer market, focusing on the unrivalled rare and aged expressions within the company’s portfolio.
In addition to conducting premium tastings, attending events and working with trade customers, Stephen Rankin, formerly UK Sales Director, will host high-net worth consumers to help build their knowledge and support their exploration of the range of Gordon & MacPhail whiskies available.
Ewen Mackintosh, Managing Director at Gordon & MacPhail, said: “The appointment of Stephen is the next step in the company’s strategic plan to build Gordon & MacPhail’s growing reputation in the luxury sector.
“Over the next five years, the focus will be on building the premium credentials of the single malt whiskies within the portfolio.
“Stephen is ideally placed to grow the reputation of the brand on a global scale. As a fourth-generation member of the Urquhart family who own the company, his expertise, passion and understanding of both the industry and the whiskies will inspire customers and individuals across the world. He will build on his existing trade relationships and support new partnerships as we continue to support the brand’s reputation as a world leading whisky maturation expert.”
Stephen Rankin said: “It is a privilege to take on this new role as it provides a wonderful opportunity to share the story of our whiskies with new customers and consumers around the world.
“As we increase our profile in the luxury sector, we will be building key partnerships with organisations that share our passion for provenance, expertise, craftmanship and authenticity. We’ve recently invested in beautiful new facilities above our historic shop in Elgin’s South Street. As the emotional home of the brand since 1895, it is the ideal location to host premium tastings for key customers and consumers.”
Last month, Stephen Rankin selected and unveiled Private Collection Glenlivet 1943 by Gordon & MacPhail one of the world’s oldest and rarest single malt whiskies. In February 2018, visitors to Glasgow’s The Whisky Show: Old & Rare will have the opportunity to meet Stephen and sample a unique selection of limited edition vintages.
In March, Stephen will travel to the Young Presidents’ Organisation’s (YPO) global conference in Singapore to deliver an exclusive tasting of six carefully selected whiskies from consecutive decades, bringing together over 200 years of liquid history. In April, he will deliver a Masterclass at Nth 2018, a 4-day whisky extravaganza in the opulent surroundings of the Wynn, Las Vegas. Whisky aficionados travel from across the globe to taste, savour, discuss and learn more about rare whiskies from the world’s leading master distillers and maturation experts.
For more information, please contact Annie Diamond on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 228 9713.
24th November 2017
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Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said:
“We accept the Supreme Court’s ruling on minimum unit pricing (MUP) of alcohol in Scotland. Looking ahead, the Scotch Whisky industry will continue to work in partnership with the government and the voluntary sector to promote responsible drinking and to tackle alcohol-related harm.
“We will now look to the Scottish and UK Governments to support the industry against the negative effects of trade barriers being raised in overseas markets that discriminate against Scotch Whisky as a consequence of minimum pricing, and to argue for fair competition on our behalf. This is vital in order that the jobs and investment the industry provides in Scotland are not damaged. At home, we hope to see an objective assessment of the impact of MUP.”
More news from www.scotch-whisky.org.uk
15 Nov 2017
Cabrach distillery will celebrate Scotland’s illicit whisky history
A new Speyside whisky distillery which uses historical methods of distilling and bottling is set to begin production in 2019, after securing planning consent from the Moray Council this week. 150 years after the last legal distillery closed in the Cabrach a new Cabrach distillery to be operated along historical lines will be opened in the area.
The Cabrach Distillery will be located in the wild and remote Cabrach area on the southern edge of Moray and in the heart of Speyside. Said to be one of the birthplaces of Scotch whisky, the Cabrach was famed for illicit stills and smuggling in years gone by. The plans include the distilling, maturation and bottling of a unique whisky, using the blueprint of an early 19th-century distillery and made with historical methods.
Construction work is expected to begin next summer, with production getting underway in 2019 and the first bottling of mature whisky from the historic distillery made in 2024, with 150,000 bottles expected to be produced each year. All ingredients for the whisky will be sourced locally with water coming from natural springs located on the land surrounding the distillery. The whisky will be matured in the Cabrach in quarter casks and bottled on site.
A share offer will be announced next year, giving supporters the chance to get involved at an early stage and own a small piece of whisky history.
Sue Savege is executive director of the Cabrach Trust, which will transform the existing Inverharroch Farm into the visitor attraction with the aim of putting the Cabrach on the tourist map and marking its place in the story of Scotch whisky.
“Now we have planning permission in place we are aiming to start work on site in the summer of 2018,” said Sue. “In the meantime, we are busy working on the final specification of the distillery, which will use historical methods, and conducting further research in partnership with the ICBD into the exact balance of process, ingredients and maturation, as it’s crucial we get the flavour right for our very own Cabrach whisky.
“The distillery and heritage centre are at the heart of our plans to regenerate the Cabrach and contribute to a sustainable future for this beautiful but remote part of Moray, which has seen a huge decline in population over the years.
“This is a major milestone for us and we are very grateful to the Moray Council, which has been extremely supportive of the plans, and to all those who have contributed to the project. We are looking forward to seeing the plans reach fruition for this important region in the story of Scotch whisky.”
The distillery will be operated by the Cabrach Trust, with the aim of putting the Cabrach back on the whisky map and stamping its place in the earliest history of Scotch whisky production. Earlier this year, researchers commissioned by the Trust discovered the site of an illicit whisky bothy thought to date back to the early 19th-century, sheltered by a small crag and built into the side of the hill, offering smugglers a vantage point to keep an eye out for excise men on the nearby highway.
Chairman and founder member of the Cabrach Trust, Grant Gordon, said: “The Cabrach has a long and colourful whisky distilling history. The Cabrach Distillery will celebrate this rich birth right, telling the as-yet untold story of the early days of farm distilling and the smuggling which was rife in the area, while the historical distillery will reflect production methods that were used in the Cabrach at the dawn of the modern distilling era in the early 1800’s.
In 1823, after a number of attempts by Government to put an end to illicit distilling and smuggling, a new Act of Parliament heralded in the era of commercial distilling. As a result, licenses were issued in the 1820s for three distilleries in the Cabrach at Lesmurdie, Tomnaven, and Buck Distillery at Blackmiddens.
“The heritage centre which will be associated with the distillery will tell the story about illicit distilling and relate that to production, so visitors can learn about the history of illicit whisky and smuggling and at the same time, go and see an operating historical distillery.”
The planned £5.3million distillery and heritage centre makes use of the existing traditional farm steadings at Inverharroch and has been designed by a team led by local architects, AKA Ltd, and interior designers, Surface ID. The distillery design team has been supported by a group of industry experts and Scottish whisky historians, Kieran German and Gregor Adamson.
The historical distillery will be open to the public and the heritage centre will offer an engaging and informative experience, with a dedicated interpretation centre, a flexible performance and exhibition space and smuggling trails, designed to appeal to whisky enthusiasts, heritage lovers and children alike.
The Cabrach Trust is a social enterprise and all profits generated by the distillery and heritage centre will be reinvested to further the Trust social aims of providing jobs and services to regenerate this remote highland community.
Issued on behalf of The Cabrach Trust by The BIG Partnership. For more information, please contact Shona Hendry on 01224 253815 or 07739 314158 or email Shona.firstname.lastname@example.org
Support needed during seismic change of Brexit
Chancellor urged to cut tax at home to boost global success story
Scotch Whisky exports increased in value by 3.4% in the first half of the year to £1.8 billion, boosted by the continuing growth in popularity of Single Malts across the globe, including the USA, the industry’s largest market.
This growth benefits the entire UK economy and its export performance. Scotch remains Britain’s biggest food and drink export, making up almost a fifth of the sector’s overseas shipments.
The analysis of official HMRC figures published by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) today shows consumers are continuing to sample more Single Malts with exports up 7% to £479 million in the first six months of the year. Single Malts now make up more than a quarter of the value of all Scotch shipped overseas.
This trend was clear in the USA where total Scotch exports were up 8.6% to £388m and Single Malts jumped 14% to £123m.
Scotch exports to many other mature and emerging markets increased. There was a marked return to growth in China – up 45% to £27m as the country’s economy grows – and exports to Japan expanded 19% to £43m.
The European Union (EU) remains the biggest regional destination for Scotch with the value of exports up 4% to £559m, almost a third of the total.
But the Scotch Whisky industry needs support to sustain growth in the long term, not least as it manages the impact of Brexit. Overall, the volume of whisky shipped overseas was down 2% to 528m bottles, and this was in the context of relatively favourable exchange rates. The lower volume and higher value is partly as result of the shift to Single Malts.
Some markets declined in the face of continuing economic and political headwinds, such as Brazil where the value of Scotch exports fell 20% to £22m.
The SWA argues that a strong home market is required to underpin the industry’s global success and that Chancellor Philip Hammond could help next month by cutting tax on an average bottle of Scotch from an onerous 80%. Recent figures show that the UK market has shrunk as excise duty has increased, with a near 4% hike in the March Budget seeing Scotch sales fall by 1m bottles in the first half of 2017. A fairer domestic excise regime would help boost a world-famous industry which supports 40,000 jobs across the UK.
Such support at home would also encourage long-term confidence and underpin continued investment in the industry and supply chain that, in turn, relies on export success.
And one of the SWA’s priorities for Brexit is domestic reform to improve competitiveness, including changes to the current excise duty system.
Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said:
“The value of Scotch Whisky exports was up more than 3% in the first half of this year to £1.8 billion, which is great news. More and more consumers around the world are seeking out the fabulous range of Single Malts. It is good to see demand for Scotch increasing in a diverse range of mature and emerging markets around the world.
“But the figures mask more concerning underlying trends. The value of exports is up but the volume is down. With the changes Brexit will bring to the way the industry operates and trades, we need the support of the UK Government at home and overseas if we are to grasp the opportunities and keep this international success story going.
“Overseas demand for our quality product requires investment by the industry in the UK and that needs government support. A strong domestic platform for growth is vital and the Chancellor could take a step in the right direction in next month’s Budget by cutting the tax on an average priced bottle of Scotch from the staggering level of 80%.”
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