WhiskyFest Chicago Speaker Iain McCallum
Master of Malts
Morrison Bowmore Distillers
Iain McCallum was appointed master of malts in April 2011. This global educational role within the sales & marketing team will see Iain developing Morrison Bowmore’s core brands portfolio – Auchentoshan, Bowmore and Glen Garioch through consumer and trade education, tastings, masterclasses and experiential events.
Iain, from Mount Vernon, Glasgow, first joined Morrison Bowmore as a school leaver aged 16. He had been keen to join the Royal Navy, however his father urged him to wait until he was 18 before applying.
Initially employed as a trainee lab technician within the distiller’s Springburn head office, Iain quickly became committed to a career in the whisky industry and rose through the ranks.
After qualifying as an organic chemist at 22, his roles included four years as trainee distilleries manager at Auchentoshan, Bowmore and Glen Garioch. This role was hands-on, involving everything from malting and mashing to working the night shift. It was during this period he worked with legendary Bowmore distillery manager Eddie MacAffer and gained a tremendous amount from his expertise.
Iain, whose nose was put to the test early on by industry guru Dr Jim Swan of Pentlands Scotch Whisky Research, scoring highly for smell and taste, was later appointed senior blender for Morrison Bowmore then, in addition, distillery manager at Auchentoshan.
Iain was believed to be Scotland’s youngest distillery manager when appointed at 30 years of age – certainly the youngest in Auchentoshan’s 185 year history.
In recent years, Iain became more involved with the commercial side of the business, leading to his current appointment as master of malts.