Industry stalwart

Michael Lunn, whisky veteran, dies aged 80

Founding team: John Moore, Richard Paterson, Michael Lunn, Jamie Lunn

Wolfcraig Distillers has announced that one of its founding directors, Michael Lunn, has died. He was 80.

The whisky industry veteran, previously chairman and CEO at spirits giant Whyte & Mackay, passed away on Saturday after a short illness.

In 2020, he joined forces with his son, Jamie, business partner John Moore and renowned master blenders, Richard Paterson and Ian Macmillan, as part of the founding team behind Wolfcraig Distillers, a premium whisky brand based in central Scotland.

Prior to joining Wolfcraig, Mr Lunn held senior management positions at the NHS, Paramount, Unwins Wine Group, Bernard Matthew Farms, Scottish Enterprise, and Tiso. 

Mr Paterson, worked closely with him during his long tenure at Whyte & Mackay. They reunited as part of Wolfcraig’s team creating original and luxurious Scotch whiskies.

He described Mr Lunn as “a man on a mission”. He said: “We met back in 1978, when he was Whyte & Mackay’s marketing director. He was young, energetic, and full of drive with a relentless passion to succeed, determined to make his mark. 

“This attitude would never leave him. It is truly remarkable that even in his 80th year he was able to join us for our weekly board meeting in his final days; his passionate drive was still very much in evidence. Michael was clearly still a man on a mission to bring the same success to Wolfcraig as he had done for the brands of Whyte & Mackay.

“He will be greatly missed, but his spirit will always be with us.”

Mr Lunn’s son Jamie added: “The fact that my Dad was in the boardroom room right up until the day before he passed showed his passion and desire to help make the Wolfcraig vision a reality. His expertise, kindness and sharp wit will be greatly missed by the whole team.

“He always made time to speak to everybody collectively and individually and always offered his support. I will miss our Thursday board meetings, but will miss him more deeply on a personal level.

“We will continue to push the business forward and make our vision a reality. Thank you for everything, Dad.”

Michael Lunn is survived by his widow Jennifer, his children; Stuart, Victoria, Jamie and Alex, along with his 10 grandchildren.

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