Dr Nick Morgan: I first met Evan more than 20 years ago when he was still manager at Cardhu. Of course he was from that generation of distillers, now all gone, who were more like lairds than simple managers. He had an air of authority about him, and an intense stare that could be slightly intimidating, were it not for the sly wink, the hefty slap on the shoulders, and the big laugh
He had worked almost everywhere; the absolutely iconic distilleries like Talisker, Lagavulin and Cardhu. The famous names such as Caol Ila, Dalwhinnie and Cragganmore
And then the forgotten ones; Rosebank, Towiemore, Coleburn and Linlithgow. Fifteen distilleries in all.
And of course he travelled, often I suspected somewhat to the mystification of his bosses. The USA, Latin America, Europe, Asia, there wasn't anywhere he didn't go to first in the service of Johnnie Walker and Cardhu, and later to support the 'new' Classic Malts
And then, when he retired from Cardhu in 1993, he chose to relocate to the United States to work first for Schieffelin and Somerset, and then Diageo there, relentlessly promoting both Walker and his beloved malts across the continent
I couldn't count how many people Evan Cattanach has spoken to during the years, how many he has inspired with his passion for Scotch Whisky, or for that matter how many bottles were sold on the basis of his personal intervention
I do know that few could resist his charms when he spoke (and sometimes sang) about the subject most dear to his heart many in his audiences left loving Scotch, and not a few left loving him
His contribution to the industry during the years has been simply immense, and few deserve such an honour as the Icons of Whisky Lifetime Achievement Award more than Eva