Master Distiller Dr. Nick Savage leaves Macallan and joins Bladnoch

The Lowland distillery today announced the surprising change

In January 2019 Master Distiller Ian MacMillan left Bladnoch, today the distillery in the Lowlands announced who will be his successor: From July 1, 2019 Dr. Nick Savage will join the team around Distillery Manager Neil Bulloch as their master distiller.

After having studied engineering and being awarded his PhD, Savage had worked at Diageo, followed by a job at William Grant & Sons before most recently he worked for Macallan. As a master distiller, he played a key role in the development and opening of the new Macallan Distillery. After holding that top position, a change to the far less prominent Bladnoch Distillery probably comes as a surprise for one or the other, but the Lowland distillery, acquired 2015 by the Australian David Prior, offers great potential according to many whisky insiders.Its reopening is planned for mid-June after a multi-year comprehensive renovation.

A new challenge: shaping the future of Bladnoch whisky

Dr. Nick Savage’s motivations for starting a new career are quoted in Bladnoch’s press release (full text here on the distillery's homepage): “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.”

Only recently Bladnoch has attracted attention releasing a limited 17-year-old Bladnoch Single Malt Whisky matured in Bourbon casks and finished in California red wine barrels temporarily. The release joins the distillery's range of Bladnoch Samsara, Adela, Talia and other bottlings, being batched from whisky that was produced in the days of Bladnoch's previous owners.