Bushmills’ executive chairman David Gosnell gets an OBE

11 June, 2018

David Gosnell, the executive chairman of Bushmills Irish Whiskey, has been awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire), in the Queen’s Birthday 2018 Honours List. 

The award recognises Gosnell’s committed service to the economy of Northern Ireland.

Gosnell has worked in Northern Ireland since the beginning of his career, with his first role at HJ Heinz in Coleraine in 1975. He has been leading Bushmills Irish Whiskey since 2005, first as managing director when the brand was owned by Diageo and more recently as executive chairman after Casa Cuervo bought the Bushmills brand in 2014.

Proximo, the global premium spirits producer and distributor, is now responsible for the supply and distribution of Bushmills. It is owned by the Beckmann family of Mexico, who own the Jose Cuervo tequila brand.

The company says under Gosnell’s direction, the Bushmills distillery has taken steps to take advantage of the huge global growth the Irish whiskey category is experiencing – moving to a 24 hour production schedule and increasing its annual output.

Gosnell has also overseen product innovation with the introduction of new products, including Bushmills Red Bush and a new travel retail exclusive range called The Steamship Collection to help bring Bushmills Irish Whiskey to more and more whiskey fans around the globe.

Previously, Gosnell worked for Diageo for 16 years in a variety of roles, most recently as president of global supply and procurement, where he led a team of 9,000 people around the world across manufacturing, logistics and technical operations.

During his time with Diageo, Gosnell did lots to support the spirits industry in Northern Ireland, securing £30 million investment into a new Baileys plant in Mallusk, which saw it bottle and export Baileys to around 130 countries.

He also oversaw multi-million pound investment into Guinness’s canning and bottling plant in Marshall Road in east Belfast. He also worked for HJ Heinz for 25 years, where he was European operations director.

Gosnell said: “Looking ahead, I’m focused on supporting the global growth of Bushmills Irish Whiskey by leading heavyweight investment over the next five years to expand and upgrade The Old Bushmills distillery.”

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


La'Mel Clarke

Service isn’t servitude: the skill of hosting

La’Mel Clarke, front of house at London’s Seed Library, looks at the forgotten art of hosting and why it deserves the same respect as bartending.