The whisky world has lost a most endearing and knowledgeable figure. Whisky writer Malcolm Greenwood died suddenly at the age of 47.
A rich personality, blessed with a great sense of humour and a genuine literary talent, Speyside born Malcolm Greenwood was modest. He would certainly have denied the title of ‘whisky expert’ he was unanimously given.
Malcolm was one of the reliable sources I would interview when in search of a technical information on a distillery or some historical data.
His knowledge was not academic. Malcolm Greenwood knew from sweat... and tears sometimes.
After college he started in the whisky industry as a mashman and stillman at Linkwood. He also worked for Glenfarclas, travelling the world as a sales and marketing manager for 13 years.
Malcolm probably initiated the concept of brand ambassadorship.
“He was an excellent ambassador, not just for Glenfarclas but also for Scotch whisky,” John Grant adds.
Those who knew him professionally also liked him personally.
“Malcolm had a passion and love for Scotch whisky, in particular for single malts,” master blender Richard Paterson recalls. “He treated them like close friends.
“Constantly talking about them, he left nothing out. He was a professional in every sense. His warm inquisitive manner will be sadly missed but not forgotten.“
Malcolm recorded his travels in his books. A Nip Around The World, followed by Another Nip Round the World and A Ramble Round the Globe, in the footsteps of Tommy Dewar – all of them written during his Glenfarclas time, a prelude to his literary career.
From 2000, Malcolm Greenwood worked as a freelance journalist for the magazine Scottish Field. Walking in the footsteps of Alfred Barnard, he revisited Unique distilleries of Scotland and Ireland, published in 2001. He also reprinted an 18th century distillation treatise presented as Bruichladdich Enlightment, with a limited edition of Bruichladdich 1984 (500 bottles) from a cask that he personally selected with the help of Jim McEwan.
His last book, Collecting Malt Whisky gives an impressive account of the whisky bottles sold in auctions these last three years.
Malcolm was also the tutor for ‘The Whisky Course’, run by The Moray College in Elgin and Gordon & MacPhail.
Meeting Malcolm at press events was a real highlight. A bon vivant and a whisky lover, Malcolm always had stories and witty comments to share with his fellow journalists... and was one of the last to go to bed.
From now on, each time I have a glass of Linkwood or Glenfarclas in hand, I will hear the explosion of laughter of ‘The Laird of Speyside’ as I affectionately called him.
Douglas Davidson from Arran Distillers who, like us all, praised his gentle and friendly manners, has a request :
“Malcolm, light up the Heavens as you lit up the Earth.”
Malcolm, you will keep shining in every malt lover’s heart and memories. Lucky angels.