The faces behind Scotland’s top malts

5. Laura Vernon – Cragganmore

Laura Vernon – Cragganmore; Photo credit: Colin Hampden-White

One of the most striking of the portraits, master distiller Laura Vernon is captured almost chameleon-like, wearing clothes that appear to mimic the staining on the copper still behind. “I was very lucky because when I arrived, Laura was in her work clothes, but said she wanted to go and get changed,” recalls Hampden-White, “when she came back wearing this top, I knew immediately where I wanted to photograph her, as I had already seen the base of the stills and there was this part where the cladding, which would normally cover the base, had come away. The colours are formed by a chemical reaction between the salts and copper.”

Hampden-White adds that Vernon is new to the distillery and making Scotch, although she was brought up around Cragganmore. “She did a degree in chemistry and worked for GlaxoSmithKline,” says Hampden-White. “She has numerous qualifications and wanted to come to come home and got the job at Cragganmore.”

Cragganmore was founded in 1869 and is situated in the village of Ballindalloch, on the River Spey in the Moray region.

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