ONE of Scotland's best-known whisky companies has announced the death of its life president, Charles Gordon, at the age of 86.

Mr Gordon died in New York at the weekend according to a statement issued by William Grant & Sons, the family business he was instrumental in growing into a global exporter.

His son Glenn, the present chairman of the company, paid tribute to his father: "We are all very proud of my father's achievements in his very full and energetic lifetime, and give thanks for the legacy that he has left us with. He touched the lives of many, many people and will be sorely missed by all.

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"In our family and our business, which my father always intertwined, he very much believed in a spirit of partnership. In his memory, we will continue to build this spirit, and with it our independent family business, for future generations."

The Banffshire-based distillery was founded in 1887 by father-of-nine William Grant, who saw the first spirit run from the stills on Christmas Day that year.

The company now produces and owns a number of famous Scottish brands, including Grant's whisky, Glenfiddich and Hendrick's gin.

Chief executive Stella David said: "Few people have made a greater contribution to the scotch whisky industry as Mr Gordon."