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Icons of Whisky Scotland 2016

The past year has seen something of a boom for the Scotch whisky industry leading to many exciting new products and emerging names. By giving the industry the chance to have its say through our online nominations and voting process, the Icons of Whisky Awards are our way of recognising and celebrating the companies and individuals that make Scotch so dynamic and innovative.

With new categories for 2016, including Travel Retailer, Craft Producer and Supermarket, there is opportunity for many sectors of the industry to be rewarded for their contribution. Here we bring you the winners of the Scotland stage of the awards and we look forward to presenting the Rest of World results in Whisky Magazine Issue 133.

Brand Innovator of the Year

Douglas Laing & Co

Scotch whisky specialist and independent bottler Douglas Laing & Co selects and releases some of the finest and rarest whiskies across the Scottish regions. With innovative brands brought to life by instantly recognisable label and packaging designs, Douglas Laing's products not only look appealing, but they are bottled at high alcohol strength and without colouring or chill-filtration. Each brand in the company's portfolio is created with ‘character, charm and supreme quality' and you can read about their individual stories at www.douglaslaing.com/brand-stories

Highly Commended
Benromach Distillery

Shortlisted
Benromach Distillery
Bruichladdich Distillery
Diageo plc
Douglas Laing & Co
Gordon & MacPhail
Isle of Arran Distillers
Strathearn Distillery
The BenRiach Distillery Company
The Glenmorangie Company
Tomatin Distillery

Craft Producer of the Year

Ballindalloch Distillery

Ballindalloch Castle sits at the heart of the Ballindalloch Estate in the Spey valley and has been the home of the Macpherson-Grant family since 1546. With beautiful gardens, outdoor activity facilities and a golf course among some of the reasons to visit, the most recent addition of Scotland's first Single Estate Distillery is sure to be a significant draw for tourists. Discover the family's return to distilling and explore the work that has been done to date with a distillery visit. A collection of private casks is also available so you can mark the occasion with a very special dram.

Highly Commended
Strathearn Distillery

Shortlisted
Ballindalloch Distillery
Strathearn Distillery

Distiller of the Year

Tomatin Distillery

With the first formal distillery occupying the site since 1897, and with as many as 80 per cent of employees currently living in the distillery houses, whisky production is certainly an important part of life in the Tomatin area. This is reflected in the quality of products and the development of the brand as the company continually strengthens its national and international identity. With bottles marketed under the Tomatin and Cù Bòcan names, the single malt range is growing in popularity and reputation and is currently sold in over 50 export markets.

Highly Commended
Bruichladdich Distillery
The Glenmorangie Company

Shortlisted
Benromach Distillery
Bruichladdich Distillery
Diageo plc
Glenturret Distillery
John Dewar & Sons
Knockdhu Distillery (anCnoc)
Speyside Distillery
Strathearn Distillery
The Glenmorangie Company
Tomatin Distillery

Distillery Manager of the Year

Neil Cameron - Glenturret Distillery

With a career now spanning three decades, Neil Cameron has amassed a wealth of knowledge and expertise in whisky production. In 1990, Neil joined Highland Distillers, later part of Edrington, working in the warehouse at Parkmore, Dufftown before progressing to brewer at Glenturret Distillery where he remains to this day. In 1997 he was promoted to Distillery Manager. Neil is not only passionate about production, but also about educating the many visitors he meets in the distillery every year, not least the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!

Highly Commended
Keith Cruickshank - Benromach Distillery

Shortlisted
Andrew Macdonald - Glenmorangie Distillery
Georgie Crawford - Lagavulin Distillery (Diageo)
Keith Cruickshank - Benromach Distillery Company
Neil Cameron - Glenturret Distillery

Master Distiller / Master Blender of the Year

Dr Bill Lumsden - The Glenmorangie Company

As head of distilling and whisky creation at The Glenmorangie Company, Bill covers operations of both Glenmorangie and Ardbeg distilleries. Tasked with creating and developing new releases for both brands, as well as selecting casks for their core ranges, Bill is certainly deserving of this Icons title. He is considered a pioneer in the malt whisky industry and travels the world to seek out the best oak for his products. He has both won and judged in numerous awards including Whisky Magazine's World Whiskies Awards.

Highly Commended
James McTaggart - Arran Distillery
Alan Winchester - The Glenlivet

Shortlisted
Alan Winchester - The Glenlivet
Andy Cant - Cardhu Distillery
Dr Bill Lumsden - The Glenmorangie Company
Gordon Motion - The Glenrothes Distillery
James McTaggart - Arran Distillery
Jim Beveridge - Diageo plc
Maureen Robinson - Diageo plc
Tony Reeman Clark - Strathearn Distillery
Zak Shenfield - Strathearn Distillery

Retailer of the Year - Multiple Outlets

Cadenhead's Whisky Shop

Established in 1842, Cadenhead's is Scotland's oldest independent bottler. Two of their nine shops are in Scotland, namely Edinburgh and Campbeltown. Specialising in all Cadenhead whisky, gin and rum releases provide a continually evolving stock list ensuring there is always something new to discover when visiting one of the shops. Each shop also has a selection of whisky to buy straight from the cask and the knowledgeable and friendly staff will be happy to let you try before you buy.

Highly Commended
Luvians Bottle Shop

Shortlisted
Cadenhead's Whisky Shop
Drinkmonger
Luvians Bottle Shop
Robert Graham

Retailer of the Year - Online

Royal Mile Whiskies

Whether you are after a special gift idea, or just your favourite dram, you are sure to find it in this superb online store. Royal Mile Whiskies offers a fine selection of whiskies from all over the world as well as an A to Z of other spirits. However, the clever interactive map of Scotland featured throughout the site proves that this is far from just a retailer. Royal Mile Whiskies will educate even the most inexperienced of whisky drinkers, and you need never mix up a Speysider from an Islander again.

Highly Commended
The Green Welly Stop

Shortlisted
Abbey Whisky
Drinkmonger
Robbie's Whisky Merchants
Royal Mile Whiskies
Singlemaltsdirect.com
The Green Welly Stop
The Whisky Barrel

Retailer of the Year - Single Outlet

The Whisky Shop Dufftown

Located in the heart of Speyside, The Whisky Shop Dufftown offers an impressive selection of over 600 whiskies and related items. This independent store is owned and run by Mike Lord who is passionate about whisky and focused on promoting the fun and excitement that enjoying a good dram can bring. With a highly personable service and tailor made tastings, the small team is always on hand to help expand both your collection and your knowledge. With many famous distilleries within a few minutes of the store, this is a sure stop on any tour around the Speyside region.

Highly Commended
Gordon & MacPhail

Shortlisted
A. D. Rattray's Whisky Experience and Whisky Shop
Gordon & MacPhail
Robbie's Whisky Merchants
Royal Mile Whiskies
The Castlehill Whisky Shop
The Drambusters
The Good Spirits Co.
The Green Welly Stop
The Whisky Shop Dufftown

Retailer of the Year - Travel

World Of Whiskies - Edinburgh and Glasgow Airports

World of Whiskies first opened in 1992. Following the success of the first two stores, World of Whiskies now features in seven of the UK's major airports. Whether after the perfect gift, or simply adding to your whisky collection with the latest Travel Retail exclusive, the stores in Glasgow and Edinburgh airports are suitably stocked. With a collection of over 300 world whiskies selected by expert buyers, you will find a comprehensive range of the finest drams, and the highly trained staff will be ready to offer an exceptional customer experience.

Highly Commended
The Fly Nip Whisky Shop, Inverness Airport

Shortlisted
The Fly Nip Whisky Shop, Inverness Airport
World of Whiskies, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports

Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador of the Year

Colin Dunn - Diageo Plc

Colin began working for Suntory in 2001 as Whisky Ambassador for Bowmore, Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch Distilleries. He also introduced Japanese whisky from the same company into the UK (Yamazaki and Hakushu Distilleries). Having moved to Diageo in 2008 as their UK and Western Europe Ambassador, he looks after the portfolio of malts and blends as well as training bartenders and consumers through innovative events and presentations. Colin is a member of The Keepers of the Quaich.

Highly Commended
Jan Beckers - Douglas Laing & Co
Scott Adamson - Tomatin Distillery

Shortlisted
Andy Bell - Arran Distillery
Colin Dunn - Diageo plc
Ewan Gunn - Diageo plc
George Grant - Glenfarclas Distillery
Jan Beckers - Douglas Laing & Co
Joanne Brown - Bruichladdich Distillery
Karen Fullerton - The Glenmorangie Company
Mark Thomson - William Grant & Sons
Ronnie Cox - The Glenrothes Distillery
Sam Simmons - Balvenie Distillery
Scott Adamson - Tomatin Distillery

Supermarket of the Year

Tesco

Tesco currently has a large supermarket presence throughout Scotland with over 60 Superstores and 30 Extras located throughout the country. With a huge selection of products on offer at affordable prices, it is no wonder Tesco has topped the list in this Icons category. In terms of whisky, you will find everything from the finest blends to award winning single malts at prices ranging from just £10 to £70. Most stores offer whiskies from around the world and you can even enjoy Tesco's own branded Special Reserve Scotch Whisky.

Highly Commended
Sainsbury's

Shortlisted
Aldi
Asda
Lidl
Morrisons
Sainsbury's
Tesco

Visitor Attraction Manager of the Year

Stuart Cassells - The Famous Grouse Experience

As the founding member of world famous ‘bagrock' group The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Stuart Cassells is no stranger to spreading the word about what Scotland has to offer. But having played his final concert with the group in 2011, Stuart has since found his spiritual home as General Manager of The Famous Grouse Experience. Nestled in the beautiful Perthshire hills and part of Scotland's Glenturret Distillery, Stuart has helped to develop the attraction by working closely with the local community and offering a first rate visitor experience.

Highly Commended
John Carmichael - Ben Nevis Distillery
Rikki Scott - Aberlour Distillery

Shortlisted
Annette Mackenzie - Glenmorangie Distillery
Charlotte Brown - Dewar's Aberfeldy Distillery
Douglas Clement - Kingsbarns Distillery
Jackie Thomson - Ardbeg Distillery
John Carmichael - Ben Nevis Distillery
Mary McGreggor - Bruichladdich Distillery
Patricia Retson - Highland Park Distillery
Rikki Scott - Aberlour Distillery
Scott Fraser - Tomatin Distillery
Stuart Cassells - Glenturret Distillery / The Famous Grouse Experience

Visitor Attraction of the Year

Ardbeg Distillery

There is only one way to feel the true spirit of Ardbeg, and that is by visiting the distillery. With the traditional pagoda roof, whitewash walls, and the smell and sound of the sea behind you, this is the place to go to experience pure Islay. Visitor Centre Manager, Jackie Thomson, and her team will warmly welcome visitors who wish to join one of the fascinating tours on offer. Take your pick from a tour looking back through the decades, a trip to the water source, a dram deconstruction, or a two hour session with a distillery manager. Round off the day with a tasty, Ardbeg inspired meal at the Old Kiln Café.

Highly Commended
The Famous Grouse Experience

Shortlisted
Ardbeg Distillery
Ben Nevis Distillery
Benromach Distillery
Dewar's Aberfeldy Distillery (was Dewar's World of Whisky)
Glenmorangie Distillery
Speyside Cooperage
Strathearn Distillery
Talisker Distillery
The Famous Grouse Experience
Tomatin Distillery