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Diageo announces key Port Ellen and Brora roles

Lagavulin manager Georgie Crawford will move to Port Ellen distillery to lead the team bringing the site back into production.

Georgie Crawford is moving to Port Ellen

Crawford will work as project implementation manager for Port Ellen, which was mothballed in 1983 and has since gained cult status in the whisky world.

“It has been a real privilege to be the Lagavulin distillery manager and to work with the fantastic team there for so many years,” said Crawford. “However, the opportunity to bring Port Ellen Distillery back into production truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am thrilled to take it on.”

Colin Gordon, currently site operations manager at Port Ellen Maltings, will take up the role of Lagavulin distillery manager.

Colin Gordon will manage the Lagavulin Distillery

Stewart Bowman will move from his current role of site operations manager at Clynelish to become project implementation manager for Brora.

In October last year, distillery owner Diageo announced plans to invest £35 million (US$46m) to reawaken Port Ellen and Brora, which was also mothballed in 1983.

Port Ellen, based on Islay, and Brora, based on the eastern coast of Sutherland, will be “reinstated to distil in carefully controlled quantities”. Both sites will have a capacity of 800,000 litres a year – making them two of Diageo’s smallest distilleries.

Both Port Ellen and Brora were left out of Diageo’s 2018 Special Releases range following news that they will restart production by 2020.

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