Bladnoch appoints new Master Distiller

10 April, 2019 by Andy Young

The Australian-owned Scotch whisky distillery Bladnoch has appointed a new Master Distiller following the departure of Ian MacMillan in January.

Dr Nick Savage joins the distillery bringing with him an impressive track record through the industry, which David Prior the Australian owner and CEO of Bladnoch said he was excited to bring into the business.

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“It’s a great privilege to welcome Nick Savage to the Bladnoch business,” Prior said. “He has an impressive track record with a number of significant whisky companies and brands, most recently as Master Distiller for The Macallan.

“His youthful, positive and energetic approach will add great value to our team and business, as will his technical and operational skills. With the Visitor Centre opening in mid-June and Nick joining the business we are excited to undertake the final phase in bringing this amazing Lowland Single Malt distillery back to the whisky world.”

Dr Nick SavageDr Savage (pictured left) was most recently the Master Distiller for The Macallan where he led the Whisky Mastery team, and played a key role during the major launch of the brand’s new distillery and visitor experience in June 2018. Prior to this, and after being awarded his PhD in engineering, he commenced at Diageo as Technical Lead in Cask Maturation, he then spent time in the Scottish Lowlands working with William Grant & Sons in brewing and distilling.

Speaking about his decision to join the Bladnoch team, Dr Savage said: “The vision and ambition shown by David Prior and the team at Bladnoch Distillery, together with the phenomenal efforts since 2015 with the re-generation of the historical site, played a huge part in my decision to join the Bladnoch business.

“The opportunity also allows me a new challenge in Single Malt Lowland Scotch Whisky from a 200-year-old distillery. Combined with the passion and drive that the Bladnoch team have for the ultimate quality, I’m extremely excited to be a part of the amazing future of the brand.”

Prior bought the Bladnoch Distillery in 2015 and worked with MacMillan to get the distillery up and running after it had closed down the previous year. They went on to launch Pure Scot and a range of Single Malt whiskies.

MacMillan left the business in a full-time capacity in January, but he continues to offer support and advice to the distillery.

When he left the business, MacMillan said: “The refurbishment of Bladnoch will always be one of my proudest achievements in over 45 years in the whisky industry.

“With the full support of David throughout the many challenges of stripping out the old redundant plant, re-designing, overseeing installation and then the commissioning of what is now a showpiece distillery producing a consistently high quality distillate.

“I also achieved great satisfaction in developing the now award-winning Bladnoch bottled expressions.”

Bladnoch Distillery’s state-of-the-art visitors’ centre will open in June this year, welcoming visitors to the distillery once again after its significant renovation.