Simon Coughlin

Bruichladdich co-founder Simon Coughlin retires

27 July, 2023

Bruichladdich Distillery co-founder, Simon Coughlin, will officially retire on 31 July, after more than 23 years with the Hebridean distillery.

One of the original founders, Coughlin was responsible for resurrecting Bruichladdich Distillery in 2001. Alongside co-founder Mark Reynier, the pair purchased and rejuvenated the distillery in 2000, together with master distiller, Jim McEwan, developing Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte and Octomore.

Coughlin said: “Back in 2000 the industry was in a very different place. Distilleries were being mothballed or even demolished, and opportunities for new distilleries to open and thrive were almost non-existent.

“Some of those early years were extremely difficult. We were breaking down many of the misconceptions in the whisky category and were committed to carving out a more honest, transparent, and progressive vision for our industry. We’ve always believed in terroir, championing flavour, and harnessing our raw ingredients,” Coughlin added.

Bruichladdich Distillery was bought by Remy Cointreau in 2012, marking the French company’s return to the single malt Scotch whisky market. Stepping down from Bruichladdich Distillery as CEO in 2017, Coughlin became CEO of the Whisky Division and a member of the Remy Cointreau Executive Committee, heading up the acquisition of single malt businesses Westland (Seattle, US) and Domaine des Hautes Glaces (France).

Prior to Bruichladdich, Coughlin spent his entire career in the premium drinks industry, working with various fine wine merchants in London. In 1995 he was operations director and shareholder of Murray McDavid Limited, a Scottish independent whisky bottler and broker.  

Douglas Taylor, CEO at Bruichladdich Distillery, said: “Simon leaves an incredible long-lasting legacy, following 23 years of dedicated commitment to project Bruichladdich.

“Simon has been an inspiration to many inside our business and across the world, inspiring a generation of distillers to embark on their own entrepreneurial journey. As the final founder to retire, Simon leaves Bruichladdich in an incredibly strong place and we thank him for everything he has done,” Taylor added.

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