Alan McConnochie

The GlenDronach, Benriach and Glenglassaugh Distillery Manager retires after 50 years in the industry

After 50 years of distinguished service to the whisky industry, Alan McConnochie, distillery manager for Brown-Forman’s Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distilleries is retiring.

Overseeing the three distilleries, The GlenDronach, Benriach and Glenglassaugh, Alan has been in charge of the distillery production of some of the world’s finest single malts since 2004. Laura Tolmie, the current Distilleries Production Manager is taking over as the new Distillery Manager from April, having worked alongside Alan since she was appointed by Brown-Forman in 2017. Laura has a background in chemical and process engineering as well as extensive experience in maltings and distilleries across Scotland.

Born in the shadow of White Horse Distillers in Glasgow, Alan’s future as a man of whisky was predestined. Having started his first job in 1973 in the bottling hall of White Horse Distillers, he couldn’t have imagined he would one day be celebrating 50 years of service. Alan’s expertise and service to the whisky industry were honoured when he was inducted as a ‘Keeper of the Quaich’ in 2018, the ultimate accolade in the whisky industry.

His distillery career started when he was appointed Assistant Manager at Plymouth Gin in Devon before moving to Laphroaig on Islay. Alan has enjoyed many milestones during his distinguished career but believes his greatest moment was overseeing the reopening of the Benriach Distillery for Billy Walker before it was acquired by Brown-Forman in 2016.

Commenting on his retirement, Alan McConnochie, said: “It’s been an incredible privilege to oversee the distilleries of some of the industry’s finest single malt whiskies. The one element I will miss the most is the camaraderie of both the distillery team and the whisky industry as a whole. Being a part of the launch of The GlenDronach Aged 50 Years in January was a particularly proud moment, having personally helped to nurture those casks over the years. I couldn’t be happier to hand over the reins to Laura, who is very well suited to continue to build the future of our skilled and passionate distillery team.”

Commenting on her appointment, Laura Tolmie, said: “It’s an absolute honour to be given the opportunity to be the custodian of these three stunning single malt distilleries, each with their own unique character and history and so highly regarded in the industry. Combined with the passion and drive that the distillery teams have for the whiskies, I am extremely excited to be a part of the amazing futures of Benriach, Glenglassaugh and The GlenDronach.”

About Brown-Forman

For nearly 150 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s & Cola, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Finlandia, Korbel, el Jimador, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Canadian Mist, Herradura, New Mix, Sonoma-Cutrer, Early Times, Chambord, Benriach, GlenDronach, Glenglassaugh and Slane. Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by over 4,700 employees and sold in more than 165 countries worldwide.

For more information about the company and its corporate responsibility efforts, please visit

Source: Brown-Forman