Whisky Advocate

New Distillery Manager at Springbank

April 20th, 2010

 This came in on Monday from Springbank. Gavin McLachlan, a local guy, will carry on the Springbank tradition. We wish him all the best! (According to my contact at Springbank, current Distillery Manager Stuart Robertson will be moving over to Duncan Taylor to oversee the building of their new distillery.)

Local man to take over production at Springbank

SPRINGBANK, the iconic Campbeltown whisky distillery, has this week announced a summertime change of management that will see the first locally-born man take charge of production in over 60 years.

Gavin McLachlan, aged 36, will take over as Manager of Springbank and its sister distillery, Mitchell’s Glengyle, from August 1st 2010.

Neil Clapperton, Managing Director of parent company J&A Mitchell & Co Ltd, said: “Gavin is Campbeltown born and bred and his appointment gives us great pleasure and also reflects our company’s long-term commitment to Campbeltown.”

Gavin, who began his career in the whisky industry in May 2002 as a bottling hall operative at Springbank before quickly moving into malting and distilling within eight months, has been assistant manager for the past four years.

In his new post he will work alongside Director of Production Frank McHardy to oversee the day-to-day operations at Springbank and Glengyle.

Gavin’s promotion follows the resignation of present manager Stuart Robertson, who is leaving the company to take up a new appointment in the north east of Scotland.

Springbank Distillery is Scotland’s oldest continuously family owned distillery and the only distillery in Scotland to carry out 100% of the production process on site.

The company is currently under the ownership of Hedley Wright, present-day chairman and great-great-great grandson of the distillery’s founder.

In 2000, Mr Wright commissioned the construction of the Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery, which opened in March 2004, bringing the number of operational distilleries in Campbeltown, on the Kintyre peninsula on the west coast of Scotland, to three.


For further information, contact Frank McHardy ( or Ranald Watson (


9 Responses to “New Distillery Manager at Springbank”

  1. bgulien says:

    That Duncan Taylor Distillery must be the new Huntly distillery, I presume.

  2. John,

    New manager or not, I have no doubt that Springbank will continue to be one of the World’s finest distilleries. And it is in my humble opinion the most interesting to visit in the whole of Scotland. The distillery equipment is antique, the grounds feel like you are stepping back into the 19th century and the staff are a pleasant mix of welcoming and eccentric. Well worth the trek to Campbeltown…


    Andrew Ferguson

    • B.J. Reed says:

      Andrew – I would agree – Its one of the most traditional distilleries I have ever visited and they care deeply about the whisky – The warehouses are a little scary with the wooden racks but well worth the long trip down to Cambeltown to see

  3. Steffen Bräuner says:

    Duncan Taylor found themselves a very nice location for their new distillery. It’s an old dairy with a small burn next to it. The place ned some loving care still

    Thats a photo I took this february posted on the danish whiskyforum


  4. John Hansell says:

    The Duncan Taylor blog today confirms Stuart joining them. Here’s the link.

  5. Texas says:

    Speaking of Springbank, John, I hope you will be reviewing some of their new expressions

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