The first Soil Association-certified organic whisky took the top prize at this year's Scottish Food & Drink Excellence Awards, sponsored by The Grocer.

Benromach Organic single malt whisky is made by just two men in Speyside's smallest working distillery, Gordon & MacPhail of Elgin, but it made a big impact on the panel of judges.

The whisky picked up the prize for best drink product and, in a unanimous vote, was awarded the title of supreme champion.

Praise from judges included: "The positioning and branding of Benromach Organic is excellent - it's a very good quality product" and "its clean contemporary look could attract new consumers".

Gordon & MacPhail is run by the Urquart family. Brothers Ian and David collected their awards at a gala dinner in Glasgow's Kelvingrove Museum. It was attended by more than 300 leading figures from the industry.

"Benromach is positioned as an exclusive boutique brand," said Gordon & MacPhail marketing controller Ian Chapman. "It will appeal both to organic consumers and to malt whisky enthusiasts who like to experiment."

Another family-run company, Graham's Dairies, also enjoyed success at the awards. It won the dairy, confectionery and snacking category for its range of organic milk, cream and butter, as well as the award for best brand development.

The judges admired the use of Graham's family members to tell the company's story on the packaging.

Castle MacLellan picked up the fish & seafood and fruit & vegetable awards for its luxury terrine slices for Waitrose and organic red pepper and chickpea pâté for Tesco. Butcher Ramsay of Carluke, baker Dean's of Huntly and Scottish Preserves were also


Ice cream manufacturer Mackie's of Scotland received the inaugural environment award, and the healthy eating prizes went to Simmers of Edinburgh for its Nairns oat bakes and Albert Bartlett & Sons for its Rooster potatoes.

The awards are organised and co-sponsored by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland and Scottish Food and Drink, in association with Scottish Enterprise.