The finest products, companies and individuals were recognised at one of Whisky Magazine’s most prestigious awards ceremonies held at the Surgeons’ Hall, Edinburgh, on Friday 2 December 2016.

Whisky author and writer Charlie MacLean hosted a lunch for the Scotch whisky industry alongside Whisky Magazine's managing editor Rupert Wheeler, and Scotland contributing editor Gavin D Smith. Guests made the journey from all across Scotland, including the Islands, to take part in the celebrations.

During the afternoon, three of the magazine’s top awards were presented including:

  • Icons of Whisky Scotland 2017
  • Independent Bottlers Challenge 2016
  • Hall of Fame

Speyside attractions, distilleries and individuals scooped multiple awards during the afternoon. Speyside Cooperage Visitor Centre was highly commended in the Visitor Attraction category. Alan Winchester of The Glenlivet was named the top Master Distiller/Master Blender of the year whilst Keith Cruickshank of Benromach took the title of top Distillery Manager. The Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador award went to George S Grant of Glenfarclas and Rikki Scott of Aberlour took home the title in the Visitor Attraction Manager class. Gordon and MacPhail also took home an award, being named the winner of the Single Outlet Retailer award.

Ian Miller of William Grant & Sons was inducted into the Hall of Fame. With over 40 years’ experience in Scotch, having worked for 13 distilleries in a number of technical and production roles, Ian previously held the role of distillery manager at a number of Speyside distilleries including Mortlach, Linkwood and Glen Elgin before joining William Grant & Sons in 1998 where he was distillery manager for both Glenfiddich and The Balvenie.  

Ian moved into his current role as prestige whisky specialist for William Grant & Sons in 2016. Having spent the last decade as global brand ambassador for Glenfiddich, travelling the world and   building love and desire for brand with consumers, bartenders, collectors, connoisseurs and journalists and bloggers alike, Ian has played a pivotal role in helping to grow the single malt to what it has become today. 

Whisky writer and Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival attendee Charles MacLean was also inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Rupert Wheeler says: "As managing editor of Whisky Magazine, it is a privilege to be involved in these awards.... the Icons of Whisky pay tribute to the expertise that go into each bottle of Scotch.

"Our Hall of Fame recognises those people who have made a longstanding contribution to the world of whisky. I would like to congratulate both Ian Millar and Charles MacLean on being inducted this year. I first met Charlie in Bengaluru, India, in 2014 where we were presenting the Icons of Whisky India awards. I have never witnessed a more appreciative audience as when Charlie addressed the haggis. A superb evening enjoyed by so many whisky enthusiasts... that’s what whisky is all about.

"And finally I would like to thank the international panel of judges and our sponsors for helping make these awards so worthwhile and rewarding."

For the full results click here.

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