Johnnie Walker to get first female master blender

Dr. Emma Walker is the successor to Dr. Jim Beveridge OBE


The name fits, even if there is no family relationship: Dr. Emma Walker becomes Johnnie Walker's Master Blender. She is the successor to Dr. Jim Beveridge OBE, who will retire at the end of the year.

After 20 years as a Master Blender, Dr. Jim Beveridge hands over the baton to his colleague. She will be the first woman in Johnnie Walker's 200-year history to hold this position of a master b lender.

Walker joined Diageo 13 years ago and has been working intensively on the best-selling Scottish whisky brand for six years. Her creations include, for example, editions such as Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare series and Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker. In the future, she will lead the 12-person team of whisky makers and create with them the numerous Johnnie Walker editions that are sold in more than 180 countries around the world.

Taking the next step with innovation and expertise


Dr Emma Walker says: “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.” 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.”

“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,” replies Dr Jim Beveridge OBE.

A life for the Scottish whisky

Dr. Jim Beveridge's journey with Johnnie Walker began 42 years ago when he joined the company as an analytical chemist. He has been master blender for 20 years and was awarded the OBE by the Queen in 2019 for his services to the Scottish whisky industry (we reported).

Images: Diageo