Mhairi Winters and Andy Kitchin have been appointed distillery manager and visitor experience manager respectively. The pair bring with them a wealth of experience in whisky production and visitor management.
Mhairi Winters joins Gordon & MacPhail from William Grant & Sons Distillers, where she was team leader for Balvenie and Kininvie Distilleries. She has worked in the Scotch whisky industry for twenty years in a variety of roles from tour guide to technical support and production management.
Commenting on her new appointment, Winters said, “I feel incredibly lucky to be part of the team bringing The Cairn Distillery to life. It’s not every day that a brand-new distillery of this scale is built, and it was an opportunity I couldn’t let pass me by…”
Andy Kitchin has most recently been part of the team managing the visitor experience at The Falkirk Wheel. Before working with Scottish Canals, he was at sea for more than 10 years, managing multiple visitor experience teams onboard P&O cruise ships.
He comments, “For me, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of a stunning new venture in a wonderful part of the Scottish countryside. I am very much looking forward to opening our doors to welcome our visitors and let them share the Cairn experience.”
The Cairn will be the second Speyside distillery venture for Scotch malt whisky experts Gordon & MacPhail – they bought and re-equipped Benromach Distillery at Forres in the 1990s. As Ewen Mackintosh, managing director at Gordon & MacPhail, explained, “We have been delighted by the incredibly positive welcome we’ve had locally. Now we have a local team in place, we are keen to continue the process of building long-term relationships with the community and local businesses.
“Andy in particular will be focusing very much on getting to know people in the local area, while Mhairi focuses on the production of The Cairn spirit. I’m sure they will enjoy the same warm welcome we have already experienced.”
The Cairn Distillery lies in a spectacular location, looking out across the River Spey towards the Cairngorm Mountains. It will offer a range of immersive visitor experiences, whisky tastings, and a bistro with a menu shaped by ingredients from the local area.