A new bottling by Glen Grant will recognise their master distiller Dennis Malcolm’s six decades in the industry.
Scottish whisky distillers, Glen Grant, will release a new expression later this year to celebrate their master distiller, Dennis Malcolm’s 60 years in the industry.
Dennis is a renowned Scotch whisky craftsman and global ambassador, who has not only created some of the most-awarded single malts in the world, but also serves as an unwavering champion for the industry.
He was recognised for his service by Her Majesty the Queen in 2016 when he was made an OBE, and is also an inductee of the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame.
Speaking at the time, he said: “I’m gobsmacked with being awarded recognition like this.
“I just love it, and I like to think of this honour as something that belongs to Speyside rather than me personally.”
Few in the worldwide spirits industry share the whisky-making lineage of Dennis.
Born on site at Glen Grant Distillery in Rothes in 1946, he joined the workforce at the distillery at the age of 15 as an apprentice cooper, working alongside his father and grandfather.
During his long career, Dennis also spent time with The Glenlivet and Chivas Brothers before he returned to Glen Grant in 2006 as master distiller after the distillery was purchased by Campari Group.
As the group’s only whisky distillery at the time, Dennis set about making Glen Grant a crown jewel in the Campari portfolio.
His careful craftsmanship and attention to detail distilling and blending whiskies has received worldwide acclaim.
Recently, Glen Grant was named the Editor’s Choice in the spring issue of Whisky Advocate with 92 points (out of 100), a gold medal in the New York International Spirits Competition last year, winning the “Single Malt Scotch of the Year” honours, and a double gold medals in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2019.
Dennis received the Whisky Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award, and has also been honoured with the International Wine and Spirits Competition’s Outstanding Achievement in the Scotch Whisky Industry Awards.
Warm and courteous and with an exceptionally wry wit, Dennis is famous for being a pillar in the local community – serving as a Justice of the Peace, convener in his local church and member of the local school board.
He is renowned as a Speyside historian and exceptional Glen Grant Distillery tour master, escorting anyone who asks through the site’s famed gardens up to the hidden stream-side whisky safe. There, he often shares a wee dram of Glen Grant with actual branch water from the stream.
Celebrating 60 years in the industry this month, the distillery will release a rare, 60 Year Old LTO expression, the oldest and first of its kind in the brand’s 181-year history, in parallel with a global campaign and launch event at an undisclosed location, later this year.
“A way of life”
Talking about his long career, Dennis remarked that Glen Grant is “a way of life”, adding: “I started in 1961. It has been enjoyable, it’s not a job for me but a way of life.
“I didn’t work with a clock, it wasn’t a job, it was my life. It has been a rewarding journey, because I’ve seen a lot of innovation.
“It’s easy to make whisky, hard to make good whisky but it’s very difficult keeping it consistently good.”
Speaking to Scotch Whisky Magazine online, he added: “I make my life easy by hiring the right people and train them up properly.”
“There are really four ingredients for making a good malt whisky; barley, water, yeast and passionate people,” he told Drinks Report.
Global managing director of GSM Spirits, Julka Villa, said: “It’s nearly impossible to measure the influence Dennis has had on Campari Group and the entire Scotch Whisky industry.
“He’s shown the entire company how a distillery should be run, with incredible attention to his craft, and real caring for all those around him.
“Dressed frequently in his family tartan kilt, he also shows the world the meaning of a true Scotch ambassador, unmatched in his knowledge and unwavering in his passion and commitment.”