RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:


Bruichladdich co-founder retiring on 31 July

Bruichladdich co-founder Simon Coughlin will officially retire on 31 July 2023, after more than 23 years at the distillery.

Coughlin, alongside Mark Reynier, purchased, rejuvenated and mothballed the distillery back in 2000. Together with master distiller Jim McEwan, they developed three single malt brands: Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte and Octomore.

Bruichladdich was purchased by Remy Cointreau in 2012, and after stepping down as distillery CEO in 2017, Coughlin became the CEO of the whisky division and member of the Remy Cointreau executive committee.

Coughlin has played a major role in the growth of the distillery, which now homes just under 100,000 casks and ships over one million bottles of single malt around the world. Under his tenure, the distillery also became the first Scotch malt whisky to receive B Corp certification, while continuing towards its decarbonising distillation goals by 2025.

Reflecting on his time at Bruichladdich, Coughlin said the following: “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 – not to mention with a very old and neglected distillery - 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 – while ensuring the island community is at the heart of our decision making. It was undoubtedly a steep learning curve but having a laser sharp focus and never compromising on our vision has got us to where we are today. 

“It’s incredible to look at where the industry is now; an explosion of new distilleries globally, people talking flavour, provenance and even terroir. 23 years ago, people thought we were mad! None of this potential could have been realised without a dedicated team – often bemused by our vision and methods, but always unwavering in their support.”

27 July 2023 - Bradley Weir