Supreme award for Speyside organic whisky

The first bottled single malt to be fully certified by The Soil Association has won the supreme title in the 2007 Scottish Food and Drink Excellence Awards.

The awards, now in their sixth year, are organised jointly by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland and Scottish Food and Drink in association with Scottish Enterprise.
The award-winning Benromach Organic Speyside Single Malt Whisky, bottled at 43%, is hand made by just two men at Speyside’s smallest working distillery at Forres, operated by Gordon & MacPhail of Elgin.
The whole process – raw ingredients, production, maturation and bottling – is certified to the rigorous organic standards set by The Soil Association.
The company work with the main maltsters in Scotland to source organic barley grown and malted to an exact specification.
One of the key components in whisky production is maturation and with no sherry or bourbon casks certified as organic, the company, in a first for the industry, have used new American oak from environmentally managed forests in Missouri.
Gordon & MacPhail’s marketing controller, Ian Chapman, said,“The Benromach brand is positioned as an exclusive, boutique brand. Benromach Organic is a line extension of the brand and will appeal both to organic consumers and to malt whisky enthusiasts who like to experiment and discover new expressions.
Gordon & MacPhail have been blending, bottling and retailing Scotch whisky since 1895. In 1993 the company purchased Benromach Distillery at Forres and in 1998 it was re-opened by the Prince of Wales.
The company is run by the Urquhart family and in 2003, Ian, David and Michael Urquhart and their sister Rosemary Rankin, received the RHASS Lifetime Achievement Award. In the 2006 Excellence Awards, the firm won the Brand Development category for the Benromach brand with its flagship Classic 55 year old Malt.
The Environmental Award, new for this year, was won by ice cream manufacturer Mackie’s of Scotland whose company vision is“…to be a leading global brand from the greenest company in Britain created by people having fun. Mackie’s ice cream packaging carries a windmill icon showing that it is made with renewable energy.
Two companies won double awards – Graham’s Dairies of Bridge of Allan won the dairy, confectionery and snacking category for its organic range of milk, cream and butter plus the award for brand development. Castle MacLellan Foods, Kirkcudbright, won two retail categories.

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