21 Jul 2020

From management consulting to single malt: meet the whiskymaker

For those who appreciate the complex nature and subtle nuances of whisky-making, there can be few more enticing professions than working in a luxury whisky company.

Fuelled more by a desire to make sense of things than the need to follow a well-trodden path, the Lakes Distillery’s whiskymaker Dhavall Gandhi began his career as far away from casks, flavour and creation as you can imagine.

After graduating with a degree in corporate finance and economics, Dhavall joined the world of management consulting with Ernst & Young, where he could be working anywhere across the USA from Monday to Friday, travelling home on the weekend.

It was not until a client engagement in Kentucky, where he and a colleague decided to visit several whisky distilleries, that Dhavall had his epiphany moment to become a whiskymaker.

Sitting on the steps of Maker’s Mark, Dhavall realised the direction he wanted his life to take. Although financial models and whisky-making don’t have many parallels, he did possess the rare gift of being able to identify different aromas and more importantly, was comfortable with abstract concepts.

A move to Scotland followed, and the dream to become a whiskymaker began.

After graduating from Heriot-Watt University with a post-graduate degree in brewing and distilling, Dhavall worked as a brewmaster for Heineken and shortly thereafter received his Chartered Scientist status.

Soon an opportunity presented itself to join The Macallan as a whiskymaker. This was the place where he developed a firm grip on the fundamental concepts and techniques in the art of blending and gained an in-depth understanding of the Sherry casks he now uses to make The Lakes Whisky.

It wasn’t until 2016 when Dhavall was approached by The Lakes Distillery, at the time an unknown English whisky company, who were in search of a whiskymaker to define the house-style and develop a strategy which would help them to achieve their vision to create one of the world’s finest single malt whiskies.

No stranger to risk, Dhavall made the move and today has carte blanche to run the distillery’s whisky operations, practising holistic whisky-making and drawing upon influence not just from within the world of whisky, but out with it as well. No other whiskymaker does this.

Discover more about The Lakes Distillery at www.LakesDistillery.com and enter our competition for a chance to win a bottle of HOPE single malt here.

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