WhiskyFest New York Panelist Dr. Nicholas Morgan
Dr. Nicholas Morgan
BA, PhD, FR Hist Soc, FSA Scot
Head of Whisky Outreach
Dr. Nicholas Morgan is Head of Whisky Outreach at Diageo plc, and is a leading global authority on the Scotch whisky industry, the marketing of Scotch Whisky around the world, and the history of its great blends and personalities.
With over twenty years experience in the Scotch Whisky business his role is to inform, educate and motivate key influencers for the Scotch category and Diageo’s brands, in particular its unrivalled portfolio of Blended Scotch Whiskies. In doing so he works very closely with Johnnie Walker® Master Blender Jim Beveridge and the Whisky Specialist Team in Scotland.
Capturing a share of voice in the global conversation about whisky in all major markets, and targeting whisky writers and experts, bloggers, more general drinks writers, business commentators and food writers with compelling, informative and infectious messages are key to his activities. Diageo’s unrivalled expertise and knowledge, the company’s extraordinary passion for the whisky category, and his own reputation and credibility provide a rich backdrop to this ambition.
Before moving into this newly-created position, his role as Scotch Heritage Director was to champion the deep-rooted heritage of the company and its famous whisky brands in Scotland, conscious that consumers – particularly of Scotch whisky – seek to recognize the provenance of what they are drinking.
Prior to that, he worked for many years in Diageo’s global malt whisky marketing team as Marketing Director where, working closely with flavour experts and distillers, he was responsible for a number of key innovations such as the development of the Talisker™ range, the introduction of the Special Releases programme, and the development of The Singleton™ of Glen Ord™, spending much of his time visiting distilleries in Scotland, and travelling to existing and developing malt whisky markets. He was also responsible for the creation of enduring training programmes to help marketers and external commentators understand more about the mysteries of distillation, maturation and flavour. And he led the category in pioneering, with Diageo’s Classic Malts, the now widespread practice of pairing whisky with food from many countries and traditions.
Nick Morgan originally joined United Distillers (now Diageo plc) in 1990, when he was responsible for establishing the company’s archives, now probably the world’s largest collection of historical material relating to the spirits industry. In the course of this work he has become an acknowledged expert on the history of the Scotch whisky distilling industry. Diageo plc is the largest producer of Scotch whisky and the largest brand-owning company in the Scotch Whisky industry and Nick Morgan’s knowledge of these famous and historic brands (including of course Johnnie Walker, Buchanan’s™, and J&B™), the men and women who created them, and the strategies which made them world famous, is unsurpassed.
Before joining the company he taught modern Scottish History in the Scottish History Department at the University of Glasgow, where he was also responsible for the innovative application of computers to teaching and research throughout the History departments. In 1993 he published an edited version of his doctoral thesis, Lancashire Quakers and the establishment 1660-1730. He also completed an introductory chapter on the building of the City for the second volume of the History of Glasgow, and was a contributor and associate editor of the Dictionary of Scottish Business Biography.
He writes occasionally on a range of subjects related to single malt and blended Scotch whisky, and music.