Thursday, July 27, 2023


Bruichladdich Distillery, has today announced the retirement of its Co-Founder, Simon Coughlin.

Simon will officially retire at the end of this month, after more than 23 years with the progressive Hebridean distillery.

Bruichladdich's Co-Founder Simon Coughlin announces retirement

One of the original founders, Simon was responsible for resurrecting the Islay based distillery in 2001, alongside Co-Founder Mark Reynier. The pair purchased and rejuvenated the then mothballed distillery in 2000 - together with Master Distiller, Jim McEwan.

Bruichladdich, which brands also include Port Charlotte, Octomore and Botanist Gin, was bought by Remy Cointreau 2012, marking the French company’s return to the single malt Scotch whisky market. Stepping down from Bruichladdich Distillery CEO in 2017, Simon became the CEO of the Whisky Division and member of the Remy Cointreau Executive Committee.

Over the past two decades Simon has been integral to the success and growth of Bruichladdich Distillery, which is now home to just under 100,000 casks and ships over 1 million bottles of single malt Scotch whisky around the world.

Since reopening in 2001, Simon has spearheaded the distillery’s commitment to redefine what it means to be a whisky business, challenging the status quo, reconnecting whisky with its agricultural roots and putting value back into the local community.

Commenting on the news, Simon Coughlin said: “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."

He went onto say: “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.”

During Simon’s tenure, Bruichladdich became one of the first Scotch malt whisky and gin distilleries to receive B Corp certification.

Posted by Steve Rush