Rachel Barrie moves to Benriach

Master blender of Bowmore to take over job of Billy Walker

It’s a remarkable change that was announced these days: Master Blender Rachel Barrie will leave Morrison Bowmore Distillers and start working for Benriach Distillery Company on March 1. After a short transition period Billy Walker will free up his job for his successor.

Rachel Barrie: for more than 2 decades deeply involved in whisky business

For five years Rachel Barrie has been controlling and leading the aromatic destinies of Morrison Bowmore. She has not only been responsible for the Bowmore Single Malt Whisky, but also for the other labels of the company such as Laphroaig, Auchentoshan, Glen Garioch or Ardmore. Before joining Bowmore she had been working for Glenmorangie Company and as a master blender she had not only created the Glenmorangie and Ardbeg Single Malts but also the company’s blend. At that time Brown-Forman had been shareholder of Glenmorangie Company so that the move to Benriach does not mean working for a totally new employer to Barrie: Benriach Distillery Company had been taken over by the American company Brown-Forman (well-known because of its top seller Jack Daniels) last year for a sum of £ 285 mio.

Billy Walker opens the way

Together with his partners Geoff Bell and Wayne Kieswetter Billy Walker, former Operations Director of Burn Stewart Distillers, founded the Benriach Distillery Company in 2004 and reactivated the Benriach Distillery. Glendronach and Glenglaussaugh were added and the company soon boomed. In 2016 Manager and Blend Master Billy Waker was named Entrepreneur of the Year (we reported here) at Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards. Now he announced his resignation from his job after he will have supported Barrie and the Benriach Distillery Company through the time of transmission. It is not known whether Walker will stay further on in the company.

In her first statements Rachel Barrie showed very happy about the coming change. She likes to look back on her time at Bowmore and says “I’m moving from the best job in the world to the best job in the world”. She looks forward to return to her whisky roots in the north east of Scotland and to get the opportunity to learn from Billy Walker and to carry on his work.