Sir Ian Good, who stepped down as chairman of Glasgow-based Edrington on July 31 after more than four decades with the company, meanwhile signalled a belief that the Scotch whisky industry was not as vulnerable as in the past to over-capacity problems arising from fluctuations in demand. He believed it would be cushioned by its spread of overseas markets.
He voiced this belief at a time when the big companies are investing heavily in new production capability to meet future global demand.
Asked if he had any parting words of advice for the industry, Sir Ian replied: "The only thing I would say is they are getting it right in terms of the premiumisation, the growth in upmarket malts, the growth in premium blends.
"I think that is what Scotch whisky is about. It is a unique product. It has a very good reputation internationally. We shouldn't be debasing it by selling cheap product."
Pernod Ricard and Diageo are among those to have announced major investments in Scotch whisky production capacity.
And Edrington chief executive Ian Curle earlier this summer highlighted his intention to invest in expanding capacity. Edrington's brands include The Macallan, Highland Park, The Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark.
Asked if he was optimistic about the outlook, and whether he saw any danger of a future over-capacity problem, Sir Ian replied: "One of my competitors took me aside and said, 'You have seen this industry more than most. Do you think we are all daft (to invest in new capacity)?'
"This was a major competitor. I said I think there is a big difference from the previous peaks and troughs, and that is the international spread of Scotch whisky sales. When you go back to when there were troughs, a lot of it was to do with the American market, a lot of it was to do with the UK market, because these were the big markets.
Sir Ian, a past chairman of the Scotch Whisky Association, added: "We didn't have the emerging markets, the BRIC countries (of Brazil, Russia, India and China). We didn't have the spread of the European markets we have.
"I think there is a much better spread which should, if you like, balance out the ups and downs in some of the markets. Therefore, I think the opportunities are greater than they have been."