emma walker and jim beveridge johnnie walker

Walker left, Beveridge right

Emma Walker to take over from legendary Jim Beveridge at Johnnie Walker

20 October, 2021

Dr Emma Walker will replace the legendary Dr Jim Beveridge as Johnnie Walker master blender at the end of the year.

Walker will lead a team of 12 and will be the first female to hold the role. She joined Diageo 13 years ago having spent the past six working on Johnnie Walker.

Under Beveridge Walker has worked on the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare series and Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker.

“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,” said Walker.

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

Beveridge is retiring from his role after more than 40 years at Diageo, 20 of which were spent as master blender for the industry’s biggest blended Scotch brand.

Beveridge began his career at Johnnie Walker as an analytical chemist 42 years ago and in 2019 he was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen for his services to the Scotch whisky industry.

Beveridge said: “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.”

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