Gordon & MacPhail Tell More About Their Upcoming The Cairn Distillery

By Robert Ham / December 7, 2020

Gordon & MacPhail, independent bottlers of single malt Scotch whisky for 125 years, recently announced the name and branding of their forthcoming distillery, The Cairn. Located in Cairngorms National Park, the largest national park in the U.K., the new distillery was given its name as both a nod to the nearby Cairngorm mountains and as a way to keep competing in a crowded global field of whisky purveyors.

“We have put the consumer right at the heart of the process of creating the brand,” said Ian Chapman, Gordon & MacPhail’s Brand Director, in a prepared statement. “We wanted to make sure it was clearly Scottish, but easy for consumers to pronounce and to spell. This will be particularly important for our international markets when English is not the first language.

“We also had to be mindful of Benromach, our other distillery. We wanted the new brand to complement, not compete.”

Gordon & MacPhail Cairn

A rendering of the forthcoming Gordon & MacPhail Cairn distillery (image via Gordon & MacPhaill)

Their global mindset extends to the design of The Cairn’s logo—created with the help of Good, a branding agency based in Glasgow—which includes a simple, easily recognizable icon that is meant to represent “the coming together of many pieces to form a cairn.”

Said Chapman, “The brand is eye-catching and contemporary and the approach to develop it put the consumer at the center of our thinking. It is the same approach we have taken to designing The Cairn Distillery itself. The modern building takes advantage of the outstanding views across the River Spey to the Cairngorms and has been designed with the customer at the centre of the experience.”

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Construction for The Cairn Distillery began in July and it is currently scheduled to open in spring of 2022. Along with its distillery, the new space will include tasting rooms, a retail space, and a coffee shop.