Jim McEwan, Production Director and Master Distiller at Bruichladdich Distillery, announced that he is to retire in July of this year after more than 52 years in the business. A legendary figure in the Scotch whisky industry, Jim joined the independent company that drove the renaissance of the then moribund Bruichladdich in the year 2000 which he described as the “Cinderella” distillery.
Paying tribute to the part his friend has played in elevating Bruichladdich to the status of a globally admired brand, CEO Simon Coughlin said: “Working with Jim for these past 15 years has been both exciting and stimulating. His deep understanding of the liquid and his ability to communicate the passion he feels for the spirit, for Islay and its people has been an inspiration to us all. “Jim’s achievements and accolades are innumerable. His creation of Octomore, the world’s most heavily peated whisky series, and then the innovation behind The Botanist Islay Dry Gin cemented his reputation as one of the greatest distillers of his generation. We are of course delighted that Jim and his wife Barbara built their house next door, so while we wish them a long and happy retirement, we are able to look forward to his continuing involvement on a less formal basis.” Continue reading...
Jim said: “This has been an incredible journey. I would like to think that I have played my part in the creation of a truly great team of eighty men and women who will carry this distillery and its spirit forward. I would particularly like to thank Simon Coughlin and my fellow directors for having the faith to allow me to follow the distiller’s muse along sometimes uncharted paths. “I can look forward to my retirement absolutely certain that Bruichladdich is in safe hands. It has been a pleasure to work with my colleague Allan Logan, who has been our distillery manager these past five years. Allan has been with us since the beginning and is the fourth generation of his family to make whisky on Islay.
“His friend Adam Hannett has also been at my side, an essential part of the creative processes, for many years now. His extraordinary nose and palate will carry the great traditions of our spirit forward. His understanding of cask management and the complexities of the incredible whiskies that are maturing in our warehouses here on Islay is second to none. “I am so proud to have been able to play my part in nurturing and passing on these great traditions and reinvesting in Islay and its people. The future is going to be a very exciting place for Bruichladdich. “Slainte!”
article written by Carll Reavey and published with kind permission of the Ileach