Sarah Burgess

The Lakes Distillery appoints new whisky maker

10 January, 2023

The Lakes Distillery has appointed Sarah Burgess as its new whisky maker, taking over the role from Dhavall Gandhi.

Former lead whisky maker at The Macallan, Burgess’ time at Edrington was focused on whisky range creation, innovation, and quality control, as her expertise helped to design The Macallan Genesis, The Anecdotes of Ages Collection with Sir Peter Blake, and establish a global collaboration with the Pantone Color Institute.

“I was intrigued by The Lakes as a new distillery but one creating such high-quality whisky,” Burgess said. “I am excited to be part of a new and innovative operation and I am sure between my creativity and the quality casks we have in maturation that many great whiskies will follow.”

Burgess joined The Lakes Distillery earlier this month, working together with Gandhi to hand over The Lakes’ 2023 bottlings, before taking over responsibility for all whisky making operations.  

Burgess brings more than 25 years of whisky making and knowledge to The Lakes Distillery, leaving her role as creative director at The Craigellachie.

Nigel Mills, a co-founder at The Lakes Distillery, said: “Not only does she bring a wealth of experience and creativity, but Sarah’s inclusive desire to guide, support, and develop our existing whisky making team is something we are very excited about.

“With an acute understanding of the complete whisky making process, Sarah’s hands-on approach to taking concepts from inception through to creation aligns flawlessly with our whisky making philosophy.”

Burgess also worked at Diageo for more than two decades, managing the Oban, Glenkinchie and Clynelish distilleries, as she takes over from Gandhi who, in January 2022, opened an eponymously named whisky consultancy alongside his role at The Lakes.

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