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Bladnoch master distiller Ian MacMillan departs

Ian MacMillan, the master distiller of Lowland distillery Bladnoch, will step down from his role next year.

Ian MacMillan joined Scotland’s historic Bladnoch Distillery in 2015

MacMillan, who joined the 200-year-old site in October 2015, will leave the position in a “full-time capacity” during the first quarter of 2019. He will continue to offer support and advice to Bladnoch.

The distillery was closed in March 2014, after its parent company, Northern Ireland-based Co-ordinated Development Services, went into liquidation.

But in 2015 it was revealed that the 200-year-old Bladnoch Distillery was set to restart production after the site was acquired by Australian businessman David Prior.

Alongside Prior, McMillan has been instrumental in rebuilding the distilling operation at Bladnoch. He created Bladnoch’s current range of single malts and Pure Scot Blended Scotch Whisky and drove a “strong” new make spirit business in its first year.

The former master blender at Burn Stewart Distillers, MacMillan plans to set up his own consultancy company to “undertake new challenges”.

MacMillan said: “The refurbishment of Bladnoch will always be one of my proudest achievements in over 45 years in the whisky industry.

“With the full support of David throughout the many challenges of stripping out the old redundant plant, re-designing, overseeing installation and then the commissioning of what is now a showpiece distillery producing a consistently high quality distillate.

“I also achieved great satisfaction in developing the now award-winning Bladnoch bottled expressions”.

Prior added: “The impact Ian has achieved for Bladnoch these past three years is immense and I am grateful for the skill, passion and dedication he has brought to the business.

“He will be missed enormously, though I am delighted he will remain involved with Bladnoch in an advisory role ongoing.”

Neil Bulloch, who has been trained and mentored by MacMillan, has been appointed distillery manager.

Bladnoch Distillery intends to finalise the appointment of the incoming master distiller and blender in the first few months of next year.

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