Johnnie Walker, the world’s bestselling Scotch Whisky has announced that DR Emma Walker will be taking over the reins from Jim Beveridge OBE who retires at the end of the year after a 40-year run at Diageo; 20 of which he spent as the Johnnie Walker Master Blender.
Emma replaces Jim Beveridge who retires after a four-decade career in whisky during which time he has been responsible for some of the world’s most popular and acclaimed Scotch whisky blends including Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
With her appointment, Emma becomes one of a select group of people, and the first female, to take on the coveted role of Master Blender in more than two centuries of the business’ existence, the first being founder John Walker.
The role of the Johnnie Walker Master Blender is one of the most coveted in the industry, and Emma will lead the 12-strong team of expert whisky makers in the pursuit of exceptional flavours, crafting and blending whisky from the four corners of Scotland to create the numerous Johnnie Walker variants which are sold in more than 180 countries around the world.
Fittingly named, although with no relation to the Walker family, Emma joined Diageo 13 years ago and has gained extensive knowledge and experience of Scotch production and innovation to become a highly respected blender who has worked extensively on Johnnie Walker for the last six years.
“I am honoured to take on the title of Master Blender of Johnnie Walker, and at an exciting time for the brand as we embark on the next step of our journey looking ahead to the next 200 years. I love experimenting and innovating with flavour and we’ll be working hard to not only continue to deliver the unrivalled quality that we are renowned for but also introducing blends to appeal to a new generation of Scotch Whisky fans,” Emma Walker says.
She adds: “I have learnt so much over my career working with Jim – whose knowledge and generosity of spirit is unsurpassed in the world of whisky.”