Moray’s political and economic leaders have raised a glass to a legend of the Speyside whisky industry after the announcement that he has been made an OBE.
Dennis Malcolm, a 55-year veteran of the trade and master distiller at the Glen Grant distillery in Rothes, was awarded the distinction as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours at the weekend.
The 70-year-old said he was “gobsmacked” at receiving the merit, and added he chose to regard it as recognition for the Speyside area rather than himself personally.
Yesterday, Moray MSP Richard Lochhead led the tributes, that Mr Malcolm represented “everything that is very special” about the area’s booming whisky business.
Mr Lochhead said: “Mr Malcolm has personally overseen the success of Glen Grant over many years, and has always remained very loyal to the community from which he hails.
“He is very deserving of this honour given his tremendous track record in local community and business matters, and the fact that he represents everything that is very special about the whisky industry and Speyside.”
Moray Council convener, Allan Wright, described Mr Malcolm as one of the region’s “leading lights”.
He said: “He started at the bottom and worked his way up to become a master distiller, that is no mean achievement.
“When we have leaders from other councils visiting for the Convention of the Highlands and Islands we like to make up gift bags for them showcasing Moray’s best produce.
“Mr Malcolm is always happy to help with that, nothing is too much trouble for him.”
Mr Wright said the Speyside stalwart also played a pivotal role in the creation of the Rothes flood alleviation scheme.
Chairman of the Moray Economic Partnership, John Cowe, added: “Mr Malcolm is a great asset to the economy of Moray, if anyone deserves this honour it is him.”