Scottish Whisky Awards

Award unveiled to honour veteran whisky adviser Jim Swan

Jim Swan: ‘tireless supporter’

One of the most accomplished scientific and technical advisers to the whisky industry is to be recognised with a new annual award.

Dr Jim Swan enjoyed a 40-year career serving whisky distilleries around the world prior to his death in 2017, aged 75.

The Scottish Whisky Awards judging panel have now received the blessing of Dr Swan’s family to create a new annual industry award which will be titled “The Jim Swan Award for Services to Scotch Whisky” and will be presented to an individual making an outstanding contribution.

This year, the award will be presented to Dr Swan posthumously and will be accepted by his daughters at the Scottish Whisky Awards inaugural celebration to be held in Edinburgh in a few weeks’ time.  It will be presented alongside a tribute film featuring many of Dr Swan’s distillery clients including Annandale, Clydeside, Lindores, Cotswolds and Penderyn.

The idea, proposed by Professor Alan Wolstenholme, chairman of the judging panel, has received the full approval of the judges and many from the industry which benefitted from Dr Swan’s advice.  He said: “It is a real honour to be able to create this important award.  It is an opportunity to keep the name and legacy of Dr Jim Swan front and centre in Scotch whisky and to celebrate his many achievements. 

“He was a passionate educator, a collaborator and a tireless supporter of new distilleries trying to get off the ground.  His selfless sharing of knowledge and expertise has benefitted a huge range of distilleries in Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales and abroad.

“It is also an opportunity to share the character of Jim which made him special.  He was warm, witty and humble; a complete gentleman who selflessly shared his expertise for the benefit of the whisky industry.”

The award will be presented as 400 leaders from the Scotch whisky industry gather at the sold -out event which takes place at Edinburgh’s Sheraton Grand Hotel. The programme which launched earlier this year attracted entries from 52 companies, including 38 distilleries and 110 scotch whiskies. 

The awards dinner culminates in the announcement of the top award presented to Scottish Whisky Distillery of the Year and five distilleries have been selected as finalists; Craigellachie, The Glenallachie, Glen Scotia, Highland Park and Loch Lomond.

One Comment to Award unveiled to honour veteran whisky adviser Jim Swan

  1. I had the pleasure of working with Jim Swan while developing an electrical technique using RF heating to form oak staves for cask production. He was one of he most knowledgable persons on wood / spirit maturation and yet could explain the complex chemistry in such a way as make it understandable to those who did not have his background.
    I think this award will be a lasting tribute to a man who spent his life enjoying every aspect of whisky production.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked as *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.