Whisky Focus - Master Blender Rachel Barrie Joins The BenRiach Distillery Company

Master Blender Rachel Barrie Joins BenRiach Distillery Company

20th February 2017

Master Blender Rachel Barrie to take the reigns of The BenRiach Distillery Company from March 1st.

Master Blender Rachel Barrie Joins BenRiach Distillery Company

Brown-Forman the new owners of The BenRiach Distillery Company have announced that they have appointed Rachel Barrie as whisky maker for their Scotch whisky portfolio which includes The BenRiach, The GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh distilleries. Rachel will take the reigns on March 1st from Billy Walker who was a was a key part of the growth of the BenRiach Distillery Company.

I am sure many of you know Rachel from her time with Morrison Bowmore Distillers where she has spent the past five years as master blender leading whisky creation for their Bowmore, Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch, most recently including Laphroaig and Ardmore single malt whisky brands.

Before joining Morrison Bowmore Rachel worked with the Glenmorangie Company for 16 years, eight of which were spent as whisky creator and master blender for Glenmorangie and Ardbeg single malts as well as James Martin’s and Bailie Nicol Jarvie blended Scotch whiskies. During her time at Glenmorangie she was responsible for creating some of their award-winning whiskies including Glenmorangie Signet and Ardbeg Corryvreckan. At that time Brown-Forman had a minority ownership in Glenmorangie and this new role brings Barrie back to some of her earlier distilling roots with the company.

Barrie was educated at the Inverurie Academy and graduated with honours with a chemistry degree from the University of Edinburgh before beginning her career at Macdonald & Muir Ltd as the Quality Lab Manager and for the Scottish Whisky Research Institute as a research scientist.

"We are very pleased that Rachel Barrie is joining our team and will continue the excellent Scotch whisky-making tradition fostered by the venerable Billy Walker,” said Alex Alvarez, chief production officer for Brown-Forman. “We take great comfort in knowing that Billy will continue with our team over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition for Rachel."

The BenRiach Distillery Company has been named Whisky Distiller of the Year twice in the annual Icons of Whisky Awards. BenRiach, The GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh have received numerous awards in international spirits competitions for their ranges of exceptionally-crafted peated and unpeated single malt Scotch whiskies which can be found at specialist online whisky shops such as Master of Malt

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