John McDougall is one of a very rare and elite group of people who have been Production Director or Manager of a distillery in all of the traditionally recognised distilling regions in Scotland and is arguably the most experienced Whisky Expert and best overall Judge of Scotch Whisky in the business today. This is recognised by his influence and presence in many countries world wide.
Campbeltown - Springbank Distillery
Islay - Laphroaig
Highland - Balvenie
Speyside - Tormore
Lowland - Ladyburn
Single malts from three of these distilleries (Laphroaig, Springbank, and Balvenie) are among the top selling single malts within the industry. Whilst at Springbank he became the first intentional distiller of Organic Malt Whisky, having earlier produced the malt from organically grown barley employing traditional means in the old distillery floor maltings, which he was responsible for resurrecting from being obsolete in the early 1990's.
In addition to this, John has amazingly worked in, or been directly involved in 18 other Malt distilleries and/or new distillery projects: Aultmore, Knockdhu, Banff, Teaninich, Imperial, Balmenach, Dailuaine, Glenfiddich, Glenugie, Kinclaith, Ben Nevis, Bruichladdich, Bladnoch among others, and was involved in the Blackwood Distillery project in the Shetland Islands, has also consulted in the new Kilchoman distillery in Islay-a distillery project in California, the new Glann Ar Mor Distillery in Brittany, and the Daftmill Distillery in Fife. Also 2 Grain distilleries, (Girvan and Strathclyde) and 1 Gin distillery, (Plymouth), and presently is busy in consultancy capacities in 3 new build distillery projects in Europe, and 1 in the USA. That totals so far 30 distilleries during his extremely varied career – This is probably more than anyone else in the industry - He was also General Manager of the massive Long John International warehousing, blending, bottling and distribution complex in Glasgow which, was the largest totally integrated operation of it’s kind within the industry at that time in the early 1980's; stocks in excess of £1.5 billion value were stored!!
John has 48 years experience of working within the Scotch Whisky Industry - over 58 years, if you count the childhood and teenage involvement in his father’s grain business, importing, exporting, buying and selling barley to maltsters and distillers - covering all aspects of production: barley purchasing, barley drying, malting, distilling, effluent treatment, warehousing, blending, bottling, quality control, distribution, commercial activities such as bulk sales and broking. He is the only person in the industry still alive, who has been in charge of distilleries in all of the recognised distilling regions of Scotland.
More recently he has concentrated his considerable energies on his bottling enterprise. He launched his own John McDougall’s “Whisky Life Series” of tiny batch single cask, single malt bottlings, and “Golden Cask Series” with his Partner Jane MacDuff as a “Hobby Bottler” in 2002. WLS has now been phased out. In May 2004 He brought out “John McDougall’s Selection”, Single Malt, Single Cask, Cask Strength Lowland from Bladnoch Distillery, and which is officially authorised by the Bladnoch Company. John McDougall’s Selection and Golden Cask are now sold in 8 overseas markets as well as in selected prestigious outlets in the U.K. He has also been instrumental in formulating, along with his U.S.Partner Jeff Topping, in producing The Wild Scotsman Blended Malt, specifically for the US market, and which was launched in New York in November 2004. John is in great demand all over the world, for talks, tastings and other drinks related events. His first book, Wort, Worms & Washbacks was published in October 1999, reprinted in June 2000, then April and June 2003. Wort, Worms And Washbacks is sold throughout the world, and is probably the best selling book of it's kind to have been published. He has been featured on several Radio and T/V shows in Britain and the USA and took part in a T/V series for Scottish Television entitled “Scottish Legends”.
John’s exceptional range of experiences is of great value, and will give any project with which he is involved, instant credibility and respect in all key markets around the world, and with all the major press.