Eboni Major is a Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Blender at Diageo whose job is to decide flavors for Bulleit, create customer satisfaction and ensure product consistency


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Meet Eboni, a Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Blender at Diageo

Meet Eboni, a Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Blender at Diageo

Eboni Major, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Blender at Diageo, shared insights with Forbes about her exciting career, how the industry has become more inclusive and why she loves working for Diageo.

Forbes asked Eboni the following questions:

When did you begin a career in whiskey distilling?

Working on Bulleit Bourbon was my first job in the distilling industry. This was a dream come true as it has provided me many opportunities to learn and develop through an internship program. Previously I was in food quality, which has given me a solid foundation to build on. When I discovered the blending role, I knew it was for me and was thrilled when I got the call for my first interview. Though completely new to whiskey, I was extremely confident in my abilities.

Being new to the industry and the role and responsibilities of a blender is an exciting challenge that tests and teaches me every day. I’m proud to say the role has lived up to my expectations and I work with a team at Bulleit that encourages me to be creative and embraces possibilities without compromising tradition.

Before joining the industry, I was a rum and whiskey drinker but my tastes have evolved since then. Previously I enjoyed simple mixed drinks such as a whiskey and cola, but now I order my whiskey neat to appreciate what the liquid has to offer.

What is the best part of deciding the flavors for Bulleit?

My favorite part of choosing flavors for Bulleit is the start to finish ownership of the liquid. As a blender, I am on a team that decides mash bills, yeasts, barrels and more. We appraise all liquid before it goes into the barrel and again after aging to determine which ones will be used that year. The process requires sharp sensory capabilities. This gives me a great sense of pride, knowing that my job is creating consumer satisfaction and ensuring product consistency.

Has the industry become more diverse and inclusive?

The whiskey industry is definitely more inclusive. Typical of anything, change takes time. I have seen the industry diversify in many areas, such as age, gender and race. Traditionally, whiskey was made by older gentlemen and now we have younger generations leading the way. Secondly, women are not only key consumers, but we have also taken important roles in the production and decision-making of this industry. I am uniquely positioned to help bridge those gaps. The demographics for whiskey drinkers are changing quickly and I’m proud to be part of the evolution.

How do people react when they find out about your job?

When people find out that I’m a whiskey blender for Bulleit, most of the time people are both shocked and excited as it’s not a common career path, especially for a female or a minority. As a young woman from Birmingham, Ala., I’m proud of where I am today and thankful that taking the road less traveled led me to discover my passion for whiskey. As a Food Scientist, I assumed my chance to get into the industry would be in quality control. Had I just gone with that, I may have missed my dream position. I encourage anyone considering a career in this industry to just go for it. We have so much to offer.

What's been the best moment in your career?

It’s hard to define a “made it moment” because I am always thinking of the next plan. Also, I am always trying to silence the impostor syndrome and award myself with the credit I deserve. My role evolved from an internship to a full-time position, which was a great accomplishment. There have been so many other moments after that, and those moments come when your colleagues trust your input and guidance. Because I love growth and evolution, I think there are several more “made-it” moments to come in my future.

What cocktail do you like the best?

My favorite cocktail would be a Bulleit Blackberry Smash. I love how the high-rye content stands out in the cocktail but doesn’t overpower my love for all things fruity.


Hear from more women in the drinks industry

There are many women like Eboni thriving in a career at Diageo. 

Dr. Emma Walker is a Blender who is responsible for coming up with new incarnations of a whisky that was first introduced in 1820 by the Scotsman it was named after. Starting with Diageo in 2008 as a scientist in its Whisky Specialist Team, Emma spends her days working on bringing the world’s best-selling Scotch brand, Johnnie Walker to the whiskey lovers of today.

Read her impressive story here.

Women Johnnie Walker Diageo Whiskey


Partnerships are key at Diageo

Meanwhile Adrienne Gammie has a fantastic career at Diageo as the Johnnie Walker Global Sponsorship Manager. 

Adrienne works on exciting partnerships including the McLaren Honda Formula One team, which offers a powerful platform to communicate key messages of how and when to drink Johnnie Walker and as a way to promote responsible drinking.

Find out more about her career here.


Meet the female leadership team at Talisker Distillery, Scotland


Join impressive women like Eboni, Emma and Adrienne thriving in their careers at Diageo

Diageo offers a wide range of opportunities for talented women. If you want to make a difference in your career, learn more about Diageo's current vacancies and apply today.

 

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