Dennis Malcolm, Glen Grant’s Master Distiller with more than 55 years’ experience, has been awarded the honour of an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to business and the Speyside community in the honours list released to coincide with HM The Queen’s 90th birthday.
Dennis began his career in 1961 as a cooper at the age of 15 and is now one of the longest serving Master Distillers in the Scotch whisky industry. Born in the grounds of the distillery in 1946, this highly respected honour pays homage to Dennis’ longstanding passion and dedication for Glen Grant, as well as his unmatched Scotch whisky experience and outstanding contribution to the industry, making him one of the most respected figures in the whisky world. He has been described as a living legend.
Dennis has been instrumental in the development of the Scotch whisky industry, and has played a significant role in its evolution over the last several decades. After stints at a number of other distilleries, he returned to Glen Grant in 2006 when the distillery was bought by Italy’s Gruppo Campari, and managed the distillery until last year.
Speaking about his latest achievement Dennis comments, “I’m at a loss for words and extremely surprised with being awarded recognition like this. My grandfather worked for Major Grant and my father worked in the whisky industry as well, so, I was destined to be a part of it. I’d really like to think that this is an honour that belongs to all of Speyside, not just myself. Speyside been so good to me, and that I have always tried my best to put some good back into it. This part of the country is Scotland’s larder; we have great whisky, salmon and other food here.”
In 2013 Mr Malcolm welcomed HRH Prince Charles to the distillery to officially open the new bottling plant. He has been in semi-regular correspondence with the Duke of Rothesay’s office since then. When he received an e-mail from Buckingham Palace about his OBE he initially feared it might have been a royal reprimand. Mr Malcolm added: “My first thought was that I must have done something wrong, and that’s why they were getting in touch. When I realised what it was I felt very humbled.”
Although the 70-year-old intended to “step back” from work at the distillery in recent years, he continues to have a busy schedule. Dennis remains Glen Grant’s master distiller and was responsible for the creation of the new expressions recently added to the distillery’s range.
Throughout his illustrious career, Dennis has been awarded a plethora of accolades, in recognition of his exceptional life’s work. Most recently, at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2015, he received the Outstanding Achievement in the Scotch Whisky Industry Award and just days later; Dennis was named the recipient of Whisky Advocate’s 22nd Annual Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2015 Dennis received the first ever Spirit of Speyside Award in recognition of his achievements in the industry and the region.