After 25 years at the helm of the James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington, Andy Watts is moving on to a new role where he will take lead responsibility for the entire whisky portfolio of Distell as the global head of whisky intrinsic for the centre of excellence, a new department created by Distell to focus on the process, quality and style of products across its range of wines, spirits, ciders and other ready-to-drinks.
He will, in addition to providing strategic guidance to the production of the range of Three Ships Whiskies and Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, made at the James Sedgwick Distillery, be responsible for the company’s Scottish whisky portfolio which includes Bunnahabhain, Deanston, Tobermory, Black Bottle and Scottish Leader.
Jeff Green has been appointed as the new distillery manager of the James Sedgwick Distillery havng worked at the distillery as process manager and distiller since 2009.
Andy says this new chapter in their careers is very exciting and one he will embrace wholeheartedly: “It will be very difficult to not have the lead responsibility anymore for the James Sedgwick Distillery family and the 24/7 operation of the site, but I couldn’t have left the reins in more capable hands than that of Jeff and I will be supporting him throughout this transition as best I can.”
“I look forward to taking on the challenges of helping craft the production of our world-class brands along with our world-class teams already in place and focusing on innovation and bringing to life some of my work in progress whiskies at the James Sedgwick Distillery.”
Andy will continue to work closely alongside the South African marketing team as the master distiller of Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky and Three Ships range of whiskies. He leaves for the USA in two weeks time to continue the roll-out of Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky into two more states.
Jeff, who has worked alongside Andy for the past six years, taking lead responsibility for mashing, fermentation and distillation, is set to continue the legacy that Andy leaves behind: “It is an incredible honour to be appointed as distillery manager, only the 7th in the 130 year history of the distillery. I have the deepest respect and appreciation for what Andy has achieved during his tenure, not only shaping the way whisky is made in South Africa, but also creating a demand for our whiskies abroad with the incredible international awards he managed to garner over the years."
“They certainly are big shoes to fill, but I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge of catapulting South African whisky to the next level!”
Jeff has always had a keen interest in the latest food and beverage trends. He completed his masters in food science before starting his career in beer, wine and cider-making. Ironically, it was his love of science that brought him to the making of whisky a few years later in 2009, when he joined the SA whisky team.
19 July 2016 - Rebecca Sterritt Paragraph Publishing, content manager