Equipment that will produce a new single malt has arrived at the site where a £20 million distillery is taking shape beside the River Spey.
The delivery of the copper stills, mash tun and washbacks, was hailed as a “real landmark” in the creation of The Cairn whisky, by the managing director of the firm behind it, Elgin-based spirits specialist Gordon and MacPhail.
G&M is working with another family-owned Moray company, Forsyths, on the construction of the new distillery at Craggan, by Grantown.
The equipment was manufactured at Forsyths’ facilities in Rothes, Elgin and Buckie, and transported by road to the site.
G&M’s managing director, Ewen Mackintosh, who watched the five-tonne mash tun being lifted into position, said: “This is a very large piece of equipment which plays a crucial role in a distillery.
“Seeing it arrive on site and put in place felt like a real landmark in the creation of The Cairn.”
He continued: “It’s been a particular pleasure to work with another family-owned business which, like Gordon and MacPhail, has a long history in Moray.
We have used our combined expertise in whisky to ensure that all aspects of equipment, including the size and shape of the stills, have been considered to produce The Cairn spirit.”
Forsyths’ managing director, Richard Forsyth, added: “There’s been many months of planning, design, engineering and fabrication to get to this point, so it’s very rewarding to finally see the main equipment arriving on site and witness the vision becoming a reality.
“We are hugely honoured that fellow family-owned business Gordon and MacPhail have trusted us to deliver their prestigious project. We look forward to repaying that faith with a first class distillery.”
Forysths manufactures copper stills and equipment for drink distillers all over the world and also fabricates goods for the oil and gas industry, as well as the nuclear sector. The foundations of the diversified group were laid by Mr Forsyth’s grandfather in 1933.
G&M, owned by the Urquhart family, started out in 1895 as a grocery business in Elgin, where it still has a shop.
The company recently said that contract awards to local firms accounted for 90% of its £20m investment in The Cairn.
The firm, which specialises in Scotch whisky maturation, also owns Benromach distillery, at Forres, which it bought and renovated in the 1990s.
Scheduled to open in spring next year, The Cairn will include a visitor experience, tasting rooms, retail space and a bistro.
Last month G&M started recruiting for a manager for the new distillery.