Diageo appoints three “dream jobs” in Scotch whisky

Diageo has appointed three of the most coveted jobs in the Scotch whisky industry: lead roles for the investment project to bring the iconic Port Ellen and Brora distilleries back to life, and a new manager for the famous Lagavulin Distillery on Islay.


Last year, we announced that Port Ellen and Brora - two of the most revered “lost” distilleries in the global spirits industry - are to be brought back to life, in a powerful statement of confidence in the future of Scotch whisky.

The distilleries will have dedicated Brand Homes to welcome guests and they are expected to become iconic attractions in the Scottish tourism landscape, attracting whisky pilgrims from around the globe.

Georgie Crawford, one of the most respected distillery managers in the industry with seven years’ experience of running the Lagavulin Distillery, will now be responsible for bringing Port Ellen Distillery back into production 35 years after it closed.

Leading the equivalent revival of the Brora Distillery in Sutherland will be Brora native Stewart Bowman, who previously was part of the team at Clynelish Distillery.

Lagavulin Distillery, situated on Islay, will be managed by Colin Gordon, who will move from his previous job managing Diageo’s Port Ellen Maltings on Islay, where the peated malt barley is made for Lagavulin and Caol Ila Distilleries.

Announcing the Port Ellen and Brora appointments, Diageo’s Distillation & Maturation Director, Keith Miller said: “Bringing Port Ellen and Brora distilleries back into production are dream jobs for any whisky-maker and I’m delighted to appoint Georgie and Stewart to these key leadership roles.

“They both have the experience and knowledge of their craft that we need to bring these distilleries back with meticulous care and attention to detail. I’m also pleased that they are both from the local communities where the distilleries are located and they bring a great understanding of the heritage and roots of these distilleries.

On the appointment of the new Lagavulin Distillery Manager, he said: “Running Lagavulin Distillery is one of the most highly prized jobs in Scotch whisky and I am delighted to appoint Colin Gordon to the role. Colin is one of our most promising young whisky-makers and he has built up terrific experience and skill in his time with Diageo. I know he will do a great job leading the team at Lagavulin.”

“It has been a real privilege to be the Lagavulin Distillery Manager and to work with the fantastic team there for so many years. 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.”

Georgie Crawford
Georgie Crawford

Leading the revival of Port Ellen Distillery

“I am hugely excited by the challenge of bringing Brora Distillery back to life. The whisky from Brora is revered for its quality and it is an honour to have the job of bring distillation back so we can produce a new generation of exceptional Brora Scotch whisky.”

Stewart Bowman
Stewart Bowman

Leading the revival of Brora Distillery

“Lagavulin is one of the most admired and respected distilleries in Scotch whisky and it’s an honour to be trusted with this job. The team at the distillery is one of the most skilled in the industry and I look forward enormously to making whisky with them.”

Colin Gordon
Colin Gordon

Lagavulin Distillery Manager