Whisky Magazine Issue 34
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Last Thursday I met two men who had bought distilleries in the last month: Michael Beamish and Leonard Russell. For me they represent the joyful polarity of the whisky industry.
Michael was on time and looked immaculate. He had travelled to Edinburgh from Perthshire for an 8.30am meeting and was bursting with enthusiasm.
A former sales director at Drambuie (with the military bearing that seems to be a prerequisite with that company) Michael chooses his words carefully and is keen to make his points clearly and concisely.
Together with three others, Michael has just purchased Tullibardine Distillery. As well as making whisky, he intends to make full use of the distillery's location on the popular A9 tourist route.
Tullibardine is a full 60 miles south of the famous Scottish emporium the House of Bruar and this is seen as an opportunity to offer tourists a full-on retail experience before they make it too far into the Highlands.
In stark contrast to Michael – well, it was the other end of the day – Leonard was late and clearly in a good mood.
As part of a public relations directive, he'd issued an open invitation to all Scottish MPs to visit Glengoyne.
One had taken up the invitation on that very day and Leonard seemed very relaxed. Rather than telling me what the company had planned for Glengoyne he rather disarmingly - he does disarming very well – asked me what I thought they ought to do.
Similarly, upon completion of the acquisition he had instructed those ...