Scotch Whiskey veteran retires after 50 years


A Scotch Whiskey veteran has announced he is retiring after a five-decade career working on some of the most famous single malts.

Alan McConnochie is stepping down as Distillery Manager for Brown-Forman Single Malt Scotch Whiskey Distilleries.

He was responsible for overseeing The GlenDronach, Benriach and Glenglassaugh distilleries, which has been in charge since 2004.

He will be replaced by current distillery production manager Laura Tolmie from April, having worked alongside McConnochie since 2017.

She has a background in chemical and process engineering as well as extensive experience in maltings and distilleries across Scotland.

McConnochie’s career began at White Horse Distillers in 1973 in the bottling halls and received the whiskey industry’s ultimate accolade in 2018 – the Keeper of the Quaich.

His career in the distillery began when he was appointed assistant manager at Plymouth Gin in Devon before moving to Laphroaig on Islay.

Alan McConnochie, said: “It has been an incredible privilege to oversee the distilleries of some of the finest single malt whiskeys in the industry. What I will miss the most is the camaraderie of the distillery team and the whiskey industry as a whole. Being part of the launch of The GlenDronach Aged 50 Years in January was a particularly proud moment, having personally helped nurture those casks over the years.

I couldn’t be happier to pass the baton to Laura, who is uniquely positioned to continue building the future of our skilled and passionate distillery team.

Laura Tolmie, added: “It is an absolute honor to have the opportunity to be the caretaker of these three superb single malt distilleries, each with their own character and history and so beloved in the industry. Combined with the passion and drive of the distillery teams for whiskies, I am extremely excited to be part of the incredible future of Benriach, Glenglassaugh and The GlenDronach.

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