John C McDougall Whisky Master

John McDougall is one of a very rare and elite group of people who have been Production Director or Manager of a distillery in all of the traditionally recognised distilling regions in Scotland and is arguably the most experienced Whisky Expert and best overall Judge of Scotch Whisky in the business today. This is recognised by his influence and presence in many countries world wide.

  • Campbeltown - Springbank Distillery
  • Islay - Laphroaig
  • Highland - Balvenie
  • Speyside - Tormore
  • Lowland - Ladyburn

Single malts from three of these distilleries (Laphroaig, Springbank, and Balvenie) are among the top selling single malts within the industry.

Whilst at Springbank he became the first intentional distiller of Organic Malt Whisky, having earlier produced the malt from organically grown barley employing traditional means in the old distillery floor maltings, which he was responsible for resurrecting from being obsolete in the early 1990's.

In addition to this, John has amazingly worked in, or been directly involved in 28 other Malt and Grain distilleries and/or new distillery projects, having being directly involved and/or consulting in the following: Aultmore, Knockdhu, Banff, Teaninich, Imperial (Now Dalmunnoch), Balmenach, Boann Distillery Drogheda near Dublin, Dailuaine, Glenfiddich, Glenugie (Now Demolished), Kinclaith (Now Demolished), Ben Nevis, Bruichladdich, Bladnoch, Kilchoman distillery in Islay, a distillery project in California, the Glann Ar Mor Distillery in Brittany, the Daftmill Distillery in Fife, and Box Destilleri in Sweden, recently renamed Hoga Kusten (High Coast) Destilleri, Dingle Distillery in SW Ireland, the massive Radiant Distillery Assam India, the London Distillery in Wandsworth, the Halber Mond Distillery Germany, and Moonharbour Bordeuax; 2 Grain distilleries, (Girvan and Strathclyde) and 2 Gin distilleries (Plymouth & Dingle), Had experience at IDL's Middleton complex in the early 1980's.

He is Presently busy in consultancy capacities in three new build distillery projects in Europe, and one in the Southern Hemisphere That totals an involvemant in 37 distilleries during his extremely varied career – This is probably more than anyone else in the business -

He was also Director/General Manager of the massive Long John International warehousing, blending, bottling and distribution complex in Glasgow which, was the largest totally integrated operation of it’s kind within the industry at that time in the early 1980's; stocks in excess of £1.8 billion value were stored!!

John is in his 59th year of working within the Scotch & other Whisky & Spirits Trade - almost 69 years, if you count the childhood and teenage involvement in his father’s grain business, importing, exporting, buying and selling barley to maltsters and distillers - covering all aspects of production: barley purchasing, barley drying, malting, distilling, effluent treatment, warehousing, blending, bottling, quality control, distribution, commercial activities such as bulk sales and broking.

He is the only person in the industry still alive, who has been in charge of distilleries in all of the recognised distilling regions of Scotland, and in the 1980's was the only concurrent Master Distiller AND Master Blender of Scotch in the world, a very rare occurrence which perhaps has not been repeated.

He has also concentrated his considerable energies on his bottling enterprise, of tiny batch single cask, single malt bottlings, and “Golden Cask Series” with his Partner Jane MacDuff. In May 2004 He brought out “John McDougall’s Selection”, Single Malt, Single Cask Malts. John McDougall’s Selection now only comes out when he feels like doing it ! But he is still heavily involved with Golden Cask which is now exported to many overseas markets as well as in selected prestigious outlets in the U.K. In 2004 he was instrumental in formulating The Wild Scotsman Blended Malt, specifically for the US cigar smokers market, which contained malts from all of Scotland’s producing regions. More recently he has formulated whisky products for the Indian market as consultant to Radiant Distillers in Assam, also for Moon Harbour Distillers in Bordeaux, and additionally for the Deerstalker brands out of Glasgow and which are exported widely across the globe.  He is in the process of formulating and developing a Gin for another client.

John is in great demand all over the world, and his first book, Wort, Worms & Washbacks was published in October 1999, reprinted in June 2000, then April and June 2003. Wort, Worms And Washbacks was sold throughout the world, and is probably the best selling book of it's kind to have been published featuring the whisky business. Sales exceeded 12,000 copies. Not bad for this kind of book. It is now available as an e-book.

He has appeared on several Radio and T/V shows in Britain and the USA and took part in a T/V series for Scottish Television entitled “Scottish Legends”.  John is a founder member of the Scandinavian Whisky Society, founded in 2002, the only non Scandinavian, in a Society limited to 500 members.

In my office at The World Famous Laphroaig Distillery - Isle of Islay in May 1970

John’s exceptional range of experiences is of great value, and will give any project with which he is involved, instant credibility and respect in all key markets around the world, and with all the major press.

John hard at work with Mundivie S.A. in Jasienica, Poland

John hard at work with Mundivie S.A. in Jasienica, Poland

John's Latest Blog Posts

John's Blog


John McDougall / 10 June, 2021
John's Blog

Putting Life into Perspective

John's Blog


John's Blog

BOX is 10 Years Old !!