Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Leading whisky industry consultant Dr Jim Swan, who influenced and played a major part in the success of a number of distilleries in the UK and around the world has died.

Most recently Jim, who sadly passed away yesterday at his Edinburgh home, was part of the team heading up the construction of the new multi-million-pound Lindores Abbey Distillery in Fife. He was also one of the leading consultants for the Cotswolds Distillery.

Dr Jim Swan 1941 - 2017

In addition to working with a number of other distilleries in the UK, including Annandale, the Glasgow Distillery and Penderyn, Jim also worked on a number of different projects around the world, for whisky brands including Kavalan in Taiwan and Milk and Honey in Israel.

Jim held a degree in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Biological Studies from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. He also accumulated deep, detailed knowledge about topics ranging from oak wood products, cask management, flavour composition, distillation and blending.

Jim spent 10 years as operations director of Blending, Bottling and Maturation Studies at Pentlands Scotch Whisky Research in Edinburgh (predecessor of the Scotch Whisky Research Institute) and in the 1990’s he became owner and partner at beer, wines and spirits consultant RR Tatlock and Thomson.

Jim was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and was awarded Fellowship of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and more recently a special award from The Malt Advocate magazine for services to the barrel industry.

Posted by Steve Rush