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After 50 years of service, Alan McConnochie, distillery manager for Brown-Forman’s Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distilleries is retiring.
McConnochie oversaw three distilleries, GlenDronach, Benriach and Glenglassaugh. He has been in charge of the distillery production of their single malts since 2004. Laura Tolmie, the current Distilleries Production Manager will take over the role as new Distillery Manager from April, having worked alongside Alan since she was appointed in 2017. Laura has a background in chemical and process engineering as well as experience in maltings and distilleries across Scotland.
Hailing from Glasgow, Alan started his first job in 1973 in the bottling hall of White Horse Distillers. His service to the whisky industry was recognised when he was inducted as a “Keeper of the Quaich” in 2018.
His distillery career started when he was appointed Assistant Manager at Plymouth Gin in Devon before moving to Laphroaig on Islay. Despite enjoying many milestones in his distinguished career, Alan considers overseeing the re-opening of Benriach distillery, his greatest moment.
Commeting on his retirement, Alan McConnochie, said:
“It’s been an incredible privilege to oversee the distilleries of some of the industry’s finest single malt whiskies. The one element I will miss the most is the camaraderie of both the distillery team and the whisky industry as a whole. Being a part of the launch of The GlenDronach Aged 50 Years in January was a particularly proud moment, having personally helped to nurture those casks over the years.
I couldn’t be happier to hand over the reins to Laura, who is very well suited to continue to build the future of our skilled and passionate distillery team.”
On her appointment, Laura Tolmie, said:
“It’s an absolute honour to be given the opportunity to be the custodian of these three stunning single malt distilleries, each with their own unique character and history and so highly regarded in the industry. Combined with the passion and drive that the distillery teams have for the whiskies, I am extremely excited to be a part of the amazing futures of Benriach, Glenglassaugh and The GlenDronach.”
For more on Brown-Forman’s Scotch whisky distilleries see below