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Macallan whisky maker joins Lakes Distillery

Cumbria’s only distillery, the Lakes Distillery, has appointed The Macallan’s whisky maker as its new master blender.

Dhavall Gandhi has joined the Lakes Distillery

Dhavall Gandhi, who has been at Edrington-owned brand The Macallan since May 2014, is joining the English distillery ahead of the release of its first single malt whisky in May.

Gandhi holds a number of degrees and diplomas in distilling including from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD) and Heriot-Watt University, but has also worked in other areas of the drinks industry. Prior to working at Edrington, Dhavall held a number of technical and supply chain strategy roles at Heineken and has also experience of the US management consulting sector.

The distillery said the appointment to the new role was a “significant move” towards affirming its as a world-class distillery, and that Gandhi’s previous experience and range of skills in finance, creative strategy and whisky-making would drive both the brand and its products forward.

The Lakes Distillery’s managing director Paul Currie said Gandhi would play a key role in ensuring the high quality of the whisky as well as bringing innovation.

“He also brings many innovative ideas to ensure that all our products – whisky, gin and vodka – always offer something very special and unique.  With our first official Lakes Malt to be launched in 2018, Dhavall joins us at a very exciting time,” he said.

Gandhi said he was looking forward to helping to create something new and have a rare opportunity to influence a distillery’s house style.

“The Lakes Distillery is a well-executed project and a Cumbrian success story. The state-of-the-art distillery offers a blank canvas and a potential for creativity that is unrivalled within the industry. This is my opportunity to continue telling the story through our brands,” he said.

The Lakes Distillery, was set up on the shore of Bassenthwaite Lake in December 2014 by Currie, co-founder of the Isle of Arran Distillers and the former Dewar’s master distiller Chris Anderson, and produces a vodka as well as a gin and a blended whisky, The One, which is sold by Majestic and Harvey Nichols. The distillery has three stills – a 5,500L The Wash Still, a 3,500L Spirit Still and a 1,500L still for its gin and vodka – and will be able to produce around one million bottles of malt whisky.

The Lakes Distillery was the first whisky distillery to be set up in Cumbria in over a hundred years and is one of only six English distillery’s producing whisky, the others being Adnams in Suffolk, The Cotswold Distillery, the English Whisky Company’s St George’s Distillery in Roudham, Norfolk, the East London Liqueur Company in Bow and The London Distillery Company.

This year the distillery’s Visitor Centre bistro, which saw around 70,000 visitors last year, was recognized by the Michelin Good Food Guide 2016.

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