Gordon & MacPhail Managing Director wins Lifetime Achievement Award
Michael Urquhart, Managing Director of Gordon & MacPhail, one of the world’s leading malt whisky specialists, has won a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in the United States.
Credited with leading the team who released a whisky “that shone like a beacon round the world”, Michael was awarded the title by Whisky Advocate, the biggest selling whisky magazine in the USA and organiser of WhiskyFest, the largest whisky festival in America.
Michael Urquhart is the final member of the third generation to take on the mantle of Managing Director of the independent family-owned firm which was established in 1895. The company offers more than 300 presentations of own-bottled single malts and exports to more than 55 countries.
Fewer than twenty people, working in the various whisky industries across the world, hold a Whisky Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award. In conferring the award Jonny McCormick commented: “Michael is impeccably well-mannered and gracious company, yet he commands instinctive, razor-sharp business acumen too: what better qualities to represent Scotland and Scotch whisky around the world?
“A Master of the Quaich, Michael’s tireless energies are focused on driving forward exports of Scotch whisky, particularly Benromach, to new and existing markets. This ensures he is constantly traveling to the fifty or more markets they supply.”
A century on from its beginnings in a shop in Elgin, Gordon & MacPhail bought and subsequently re-opened the Benromach Distillery. Sales of its flagship 10 years old single malt have seen exceptional growth since its launch in 2009 and in this current year sales of the Benromach portfolio have continued the same trend. Total sales for the period March to November are up 23% on the same period last year and export sales have increased by 26%.
In 2010 the company launched its Generations range of the world’s oldest single malt whiskies, one of the reasons cited for Michael’s award.
As Jonny McCormick explained, “For the whisky community, the unrivalled release of the Generations Mortlach 70 year old 1938 and Generations Glenlivet 70 year old 1940 shone like a beacon around the world. It was Michael who led the team that designed and launched these exceptional whiskies.”
Michael Urquhart said: “I am deeply honored to receive this award which I see as recognition for the whole team at Gordon & MacPhail. It’s provided a wonderful finish to what has been an outstanding year for the company, with the visit of HRH The Princess Royal to present our second Queen’s Award for Enterprise.”
Whisky Advocate magazine covers all the whisky industries across the globe including Scotch whisky, Canadian whisky, Irish whiskey and Bourbon. It has more than 200,000 readers and its blog attracts more than 125,000 visitors each day.
About Gordon & MacPhail
Gordon & MacPhail is an independent, family-owned Scotch whisky specialist which has been based in Elgin, Moray, since 1895. Four generations of the Urquhart family have continued the tradition of seeking out the best and rarest Scotch whiskies.
Since its foundation, Gordon & MacPhail’s policy has been to send casks to distilleries throughout Scotland, fill them with ‘new make’ spirit and mature them either at the distillery of origin or in the firm’s own bonded warehouses in Elgin.
Now one of the world’s leading malt whisky specialists, Gordon & MacPhail exports to more than 55 countries. It offers more than 300 presentations of own-bottled single malts. In 2009, Gordon & MacPhail was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.
A second Queen’s Award for Enterprise was presented by HRH The Princess Royal at a ceremony in 2013 at the company’s bottling hall in Elgin.
In 1993 Gordon & MacPhail purchased Benromach Distillery and re-equipped it before it was officially opened by HRH Prince Charles in 1998. A four star visitor centre is open to the public throughout the year for tours and tastings. Benromach distillery is a member of the world famous Malt Whisky Trail.
In 2010 Gordon & MacPhail made history by bottling the oldest cask ever released – a 70 Year Old Mortlach, distilled in 1938. They followed this up by releasing 100 70cl and 175 20cl decanters of 70 Year Old Glenlivet in 2011. They have now released the remaining 100 70cl decanters from this cask.
Gordon &MacPhail is proud of its Moray roots and the company, its directors and its staff play an active role in their local community by supporting local charities and sponsoring local events.