Gordon & MacPhail names Speyside distillery The Cairn

Scotch whisky bottler Gordon & MacPhail has named its new Speyside distillery The Cairn, which is due to open in spring 2022.

Gordon & MacPhail first announced plans to construct a distillery and visitor centre in Craggan, near Grantown-on-Spey, in May 2018. The producer secured planning approval to build the new distillery in the Cairngorms National Park in October last year.

Work on the site began in July this year, with the distillery scheduled to open in spring 2022. Construction work on the multi‐million‐pound distillery was delayed by the coronavirus lockdown.

The name reflects the site’s location overlooking the Cairngorm mountains. The word ‘cairn’ comes from Scottish Gaelic and means a man-made pile of stones constructed as a memorial or landmark.

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.”

The new distillery will be the company’s second, and follows its purchase and refurbishment of the Benromach Distillery. Gordon & Macphail said Benromach is positioned as a “traditional hand crafted brand”.

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

The company had more than 300 suggestions for the name, which was whittled down to meet the company’s criteria.

Gordon & MacPhail has also developed an icon for the brand, a fragmented shape to represent the “coming together of many pieces to form the cairn”. A serif font is used for the word ‘distillery’ to offer “contemporary craft cues that imply heritage and legacy”.

The Cairn distillery will include a visitor experience, tasting rooms, retail space and coffee shop. When it opens, the site will become the first new distillery based in the Cairngorms National Park since its creation in 2003.

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Author: Nicola Carruthers

Timothy Kelly

Tim is the Founder & Master Distiller at Felene. He developed his passion for the spirits and hospitality business while growing-up and working in his family's restaurant and liquor store business. Tim’s passion for the epicurean lifestyle has found it’s latest manifestation in the Felene Distillery. Tim is a 5-time Gold Medal Award winning Distiller. He has won a Platinum medal at the Prestigious Los Angeles Spirits Awards and his signature vodka was named Best-in-Category by the American Distilling Institute. Mr. Kelly is also a prolific author and writer and his blog is filled with ideas, discoveries, observations and recommendations to help his readers enjoy life’s simple epicurean pleasures.

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