Press Release: New Whiskymaker Appointed At The Lakes Distillery

In a creative shake-up to its whisky-making team, The Lakes Distillery has appointed Sarah Burgess to be its new Whiskymaker.

Sarah Burgess – The Lakes’ New Whiskymaker

Former Lead Whiskymaker at The Macallan, Sarah’s time at Edrington focused on whisky range creation, innovation, and quality control for one of the world’s most revered single malts. And it was Sarah’s expertise that helped to design The Macallan Genesis, The Anecdotes of Ages Collection with Sir Peter Blake, and establish a global collaboration with the Pantone Color Institute™.


On leaving her role as creative director at The Craigellachie, where Sarah has been crafting a luxury lifestyle collection of drinks telling the story of Speyside at one of the world’s oldest whisky hotels, Sarah brings more than 25 years of whisky-making passion and knowledge to The Lakes Distillery at a time when they are accelerating production and planning for rapid international growth.


“I was intrigued by The Lakes as a new distillery but one creating such high-quality whisky,” Sarah Burgess said. “I am excited to be part of a new and innovative operation and I am sure between my creativity and the quality casks we have in maturation that many great whiskies will follow.”


Nigel Mills, a co-founder at The Lakes Distillery, said:“We are delighted to welcome Sarah to our team. Not only does she bring a wealth of experience and creativity, but Sarah’s inclusive desire to guide, support, and develop our existing whiskymaking team is something we are very excited about.


“With an acute understanding of the complete whiskymaking process, Sarah’s hands-on approach to taking concepts from inception through to creation aligns flawlessly with our whiskymaking philosophy. It is a very exciting time for us all.”


Having also worked at Diageo for more than two decades, managing the Oban, Glenkinchie and Clynelish distilleries, Sarah’s love for the whisky industry, and in particular sherry casks, will be invaluable as she takes over the top job from Dhavall Gandhi who, in January 2022, opened an eponymously named whisky consultancy alongside his role at The Lakes.


Tim Farazmand, chairman at The Lakes Distillery, said:“Dhavall has played an instrumental role in what has been an extraordinary journey for The Lakes over the past five years.


“Culminating in The Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.4 being named the “World’s Best Single Malt Whisky” at the 2022 World Whiskies Awards, Dhavall has dedicated himself artistically to the distillery and helped us to forge a clear vision and philosophy for our whiskymaking. For that, we will be forever grateful.”

Sarah Burgess joined The Lakes Distillery on Thursday 5th January, working together with Dhavall to hand over The Lakes’ 2023 bottlings before taking over responsibility for all whiskymaking operations.

Disclaimer: I was sent this press release under no obligation to publish the news. I have shared this post as it genuinely interests me and seems like a big shake up at a distillery that’s close to me. You can’t deny the positive path that Dhavall has taken The Lakes on in recent years with the Whiskymaker being both the name and at the heart of the Reserve and Editions releases. Will we now see their definitive core releases this year? Stay tuned.

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