Industry veteran to head Ardgowan

DRINKS industry veteran Mike Keiller has been appointed as the new chairman of the Ardgowan Distillery Company as the business prepares to begin construction of its production facility.

Keiller, who has previously worked for businesses including Bell’s (and subsequently United Distillers and Diageo) and Morrison Bowmore Distillers, takes up the position today (1st February), succeeding chairman Willie Phillips, who has headed the business for the past four years. Phillips will remain on the company’s whisky tasting forum, helping to shape the flavour profile of the distillery’s future whisky. Keiller is also a non-executive director at spirits group Distil, which last year invested in Ardgowan.

Ardgowan Distillery Company has plans to construct a new distillery at the Ardgowan Estate, near Inverkip, with construction expected to begin later this year. Plans were unveiled in December.

Plans for the new distillery were unveiled in December.

The company has already bottled and released a number of whiskies as an independent bottler under the Clydebuilt and Expedition brands.

“It is exciting to be joining the Ardgowan Distillery as they seek to realise their vision of producing the highest quality malt whisky at their ground-breaking new distillery,” said Keiller.

“I’m relishing the opportunity to work with (company chief executive Martin McAdam) on the company’s corporate strategy and to being part of a young, dynamic and fast-growing team of passionate whisky pioneers.”

Roland Grain, who is majority shareholder at Ardgowan Distillery as well as a director at Distil, said Keiller will bring “huge experience and capability to the company”.

“Mike shares our vision of creating a great carbon negative distillery, a great single malt and building long-lasting customer relationships,” said Grain.

“We are lucky to be able to access the best professionals in the industry and we will continue to do so to form an all-star team to achieve our goal of making the best and most climate-friendly whisky on this planet.

“I want to thank Willie for his service and I’m looking forward to continuing work with him in our whisky tasting forum. We are now on track to be operational at the site in 2023.”