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Diageo announces Dr Emma Walker as next Master Blender

Diageo announces Dr Emma Walker as next Master Blender

 October 21, 2021

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Johnnie Walker, the world’s best-selling Scotch Whisky and an iconic Diageo brand, announced that Dr Emma Walker will take over the reins from Dr Jim Beveridge OBE after more than 40 years at Diageo, 20 years of which he was Master Blender.

Emma will be one of a small, 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’s existence, the first being founder John Walker.

“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," says Emma.

"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. I have learnt so much over my career working with Jim - whose knowledge and generosity of spirit is unsurpassed in the world of whisky.”

Extensive knowledge and experience of Scotch production and innovation

Diageo Emma Walker Master Blender

Aptly named, although no relation to the Walker family, Emma joined Diageo 1over a decade 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 over past years.

Her innovations include the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare series and Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker.

Taking on one of the most coveted roles in the industry

The role of 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 flavour, 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.

Working in different areas of whisky production

During her career, Emma has worked in different areas of whisky production; gaining experience and understanding of how flavour develops in fermentation, distillation, and maturation, striving to ensure quality at every stage of the process. She has spent several years working with Jim to develop an encyclopedic understanding and knowledge of whisky.

“It is with pleasure and confidence that I pass on this privilege to Emma. I know she will do a wonderful job as she possesses the knowledge, expertise, and dedication to make an amazing Master Blender. On a personal level I am delighted for her, and I know that her wonderfully infectious personality, that made working with her so enjoyable, will bring something exciting and different to the team and, indeed, to the wider Scotch industry," adds Dr Jim Beveridge OBE.

“It is through Jim’s tireless work, incredible expertise and dedication to quality that the iconic flavours of the Johnnie Walker portfolio are so popular today and we thank him for his outstanding contribution over the last four decades," comments Julie Bramham, Global Brand Director for Johnnie Walker.

"Emma takes over at an exciting time, Scotch is being enjoyed in so many different ways by people from all over the world and I know that Emma and her team will continue to develop the exceptional tastes, textures and flavours that we are renowned for.”

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