We are delighted to hear that The Glenlivet is celebrating a true industry icon as it raises a dram to Master Distiller, Alan Winchester, who has been awarded one of the most prestigious industry accolades, the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Starting out as a distillery tour guide Alan has experienced many significant achievements in his 40 years in the industry. He is the man behind The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve and more recently crafted The Glenlivet Captain’s Reserve. 

Alan does not leave his passion for his job at work. During his travels, he enjoys visiting wineries and distilleries to continue to learn more about distillation and fermentation techniques. In addition, every year at the annual Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, Alan can be found leading walks along the highland trails, sharing his personal insight and historical perspective to the many eager walkers and whisky lovers visiting Scotland.

Now in its 23rd year, the ISC is one of the most authoritative, respected and influential spirits competitions in the world. Founded on a rigorous and independent judging process, the Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates the work and commitment of an individual who has made a significant impact on the drinks industry during their career.

Christian Davis, Editor of Drinks International, and a judge for the ISC, commented:

“Alan has been nominated, judged, by his peers.  It is an enormous compliment to Mr Winchester for services rendered to the Scotch whisky industry down the years.  He is not only a consummate professional, but a highly approachable, likeable guy who is able to convey the mysteries and complexities of the creation of Scotch whisky, in remarkably easy to understand terms.” 

Miriam Eceolaza, Global Brand Director at The Glenlivet said:

“It’s hard to find someone who brings quite as much enthusiasm and dedication to their job as Alan and we’re thrilled that his hard work has been recognised. The ISC is one of the most prestigious awards bodies in the industry, and the Lifetime Achievement Award in particular celebrates true excellence. It’s an exciting time for Scotch and we are lucky to have Alan as The Master Distiller of The Glenlivet.”

Alan commented:

“I am honoured and touched to have received this award. I started my career at The Glenlivet in 1979, and over those years have witnessed a fair few changes. But the one thing that has remained the same is the dedication to excellence and the commitment to maintaining the exceptional quality for which The Glenlivet has become known. This passion and dedication is shared by the entire team at the distillery and I’d like to thank them for their support over the years. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Alan’s other significant accomplishments include:

  • Releasing The Glenlivet's first series of 50 Year Old whiskies, which was named in his honour (The Winchester Collection).
  • Creating The Glenlivet Smugglers Trails in 2007 in conjunction with the Crown Estate
  • Becoming a Master of the Quaich in 1997 and acting as President of the Malt Distillers Association in 2008 for three years.
  • Serving as Chairman of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling in Scotland, and subsequently receiving his Fellowship.


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