Michael Urquhart recently retired as Managing Director of Gordon & MacPhail (G&M), the Elgin-based whisky specialist, famed for selecting, maturing and bottling some of the world’s finest and rarest single malt Scotch whiskies. Established in 1895, the firm is owned and managed by the third and fourth generation of the Urquhart family.
G&M has long and established relationships with various distillery owners throughout Scotland. The company fills new-make spirit into hand-selected casks and matures the whisky at the distillery of origin. They then move on to the company’s bonded warehouses in Elgin prior to bottling. G&M has, arguably, the greatest selection of whisky available in the world, dating back to 1936 including the Generations range of single malts aged for over 70 years.
In 1993, the company purchased Benromach Distillery in Forres. After being extensively re-equipped, the distillery was officially re-opened by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1998.
Michael has travelled extensively throughout the world promoting single malt Scotch whisky bottled by G&M and from Benromach Distillery. In 1999 he was made a Keeper of the Quaich and in 2012 a Master of the Quaich in recognition of services to the promotion of Scotch whisky worldwide.
Michael, who qualified as a Chartered Accountant before returning to G&M over thirty years ago, is also a director of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) chairing the Highlands and Islands committee. In addition he is a Fellow of The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers.
G&M exports its single malt Scotch whiskies to over 50 countries and, thanks to tremendous growth overseas, was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade in 2009 and 2013. Michael’s dedication and influence will surely play a huge role for years to come.