Gordon & MacPhail unveils The Cairn – Scotch Whisky News

Gordon & MacPhail unveils The Cairn 

Gordon & MacPhail has unveiled the brand for its new distillery being built in the Cairngorms National Park.

The distillery is to be named The Cairn, reflecting its stunning location overlooking the Cairngorm mountains, at the gateway to Speyside.

The family owned whisky specialists were granted planning permission for the new distillery last year and work started on site in July this year.

Unveiling the new brand Ian Chapman, Brands Director 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.”

Benromach is positioned as a traditional, hand crafted brand so the new brand had to broadly occupy more contemporary territory.

Working with Glasgow based branding agency Good, the company cast its net wide looking for ideas for a name, asking staff and shareholders for suggestions.  More than 300 ideas were eventually whittled down to a shortlist which met select criteria.

As well as the name, the identity needed to have icons and graphical elements to make it unmistakable for non-English speaking consumers. An icon has been developed to symbolise the brand; the fragmented shape representing the coming together of many pieces to form a cairn.  The typography used for the words “The Cairn” is ultra-modern and premium, yet it is complemented by the use of a Serif font for the word “Distillery” to represent contemporary craft cues that imply heritage and legacy.

Ian Chapman added; “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.”

Scheduled to open in spring 2022, The Cairn Distillery will include a visitor experience, tasting rooms, retail space and coffee shop.


Gordon & MacPhail is a family owned premium spirits company based in Elgin, Scotland. Owner of Scotch whisky distillery, Benromach, Gordon & MacPhail is also a Scotch whisky maturation expert, the owner of Scottish Gin brand, Red Door and the operator of a wholesale business in the United Kingdom selling premium Scotch whiskies and spirits, along with a high-quality retail outlet.

The company owns Benromach Distillery located in Forres in Moray.  Benromach Single Malt Scotch Whisky is handcrafted using traditional methods by a small team of distillers using the finest Scottish barley and the purest spring water from the nearby Romach Hills. The multi award-winning portfolio of single malts is enjoyed by whisky drinkers worldwide.

The company launched Red Door in the summer of 2018. Created at Benromach Distillery, this award winning, small batch Scottish gin now forms a strategic part of the company’s product portfolio.

Work commenced in July 2020 on the company’s second distillery, overlooking the River Spey towards the Cairngorms.  The new site will add further distillation capacity and brand ownership to the company’s asset base and is a key part of the plans to continue building a long-term sustainable business.  A high-quality visitor experience offering tours and tastings will also attract visitors from around the world.

Since the founding of the business in 1895, Gordon & MacPhail has sent casks to Scotch whisky distilleries throughout Scotland to be filled with new-make spirit, before being left to mature for many years either at the distillery or in their bonded warehouses in Elgin.  The Gordon & MacPhail portfolio offers some of the world’s rarest and most sought-after Single Malt Scotch Whiskies to discerning whisky drinkers globally.

The company’s wholesale business serves customers throughout the United Kingdom selling Benromach Single Malt, Red Door gin and Gordon & MacPhail whiskies into the on and off trade. The business also exclusively represents a number of ‘distributor’ brands and stocks premium whiskies and spirits.

The retail shop in Elgin remains the ‘spiritual home’ of the business, 125 years after it was first established in 1895.  The shop is home to a large selection of Single Malt Scotch Whiskies and is a destination for many whisky aficionados from around the world.

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