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Landmark moment at The Cairn

29th September 2022

It was a landmark moment at The Cairn Distillery at Grantown-on-Spey with the final handover by the contractors to the owners Gordon & MacPhail.                                                                                                     

The building itself is now complete and the equipment fully operational. All that remains are some final finishing touches in the visitor centre. Donald McLachlan from Morrison Construction and Richard Forsyth from Forsyth of Rothes met at the distillery with Gordon and MacPhail, Managing Director of Gordon & MacPhail to mark the occasion.                             

As Ewen Mackintosh said: “This is another significant milestone for Gordon & MacPhail as we take over full control of the building. It’s a tremendous achievement to deliver this wonderful new building in such a stunning location – and all while facing the challenges of a global pandemic. Later in the year we look forward to welcoming guests from all over the world to experience for themselves the care and attention that has gone into creating this fantastic building whilst learning about our approach to making single malt whisky at The Cairn.”   

Donald McLachlan, Managing Director – Highland of Morrison Construction commented: “Having been entrusted to construct and fit out this exemplar Distillery in such a fantastic location we are now delighted to be handing it over to our valued client.” The Cairn is a second distillery for renowned whisky experts Gordon & MacPhail, the family firm based in Moray. And they turned to fellow Moray based family owned firm Forsyths to manufacture the distillation equipment at their fabrications sites at Rothes and Elgin.

As Ewen Mackintosh explained: “Our roots are firmly in the North of Scotland, and we were determined to use as many local contractors as possible. Around 90% of the work was completed by businesses in the north, keeping jobs in the local area and supporting the local economy. Central to this was the use of Forsyths and Morrison Construction who were very supportive of our aim to use local companies wherever possible.”   

Richard Forsyth Managing Director of Forsyths Limited added: “I feel immensely proud to be part of this landmark moment for Gordon & MacPhail, we’re delighted to have been involved in the project with the design and build of the distillery process.” Planning permission for the distillery was granted in 2019 and work started on site once COVID restrictions on construction were lifted in July 2020.

Opening to the public later this year, The Cairn Distillery overlooks the River Spey towards the Cairngorms. It will offer a selection of immersive visitor experiences, whisky tastings and carefully selected gifts. Visitors will also be able to eat @ The Gathering and experience the finest produce sourced from throughout Scotland. It has been designed to sit within this world class setting with features including a “green” sedum roof which has already become a haven for bees.

Gordon & MacPhail has partnered with the local community by match funding money raised locally to support an annual programme of events aimed at locals and visitors alike. The distillery will become a major tourist destination on the outskirts of the town and act as a gateway to Speyside.