Food & Drinks

Scotch whisky master blender Maureen Robinson to retire


Diageo master blender Maureen Robinson is preparing to set down her nosing glass after 45 years in the Scotch whisky industry.


Robinson, one of the first women in the whisky industry to hold the prestigious title of master blender, has dedicated her professional life to furthering not only the Scotch whisky category, but the prominence of women within it.


During her time with Diageo, Robinson has worked on leading brands including The Singleton, Johnnie Walker, Buchanan’s and Old Parr. She has built an enviable knowledge of Diageo’s 10-million cask inventory and has been at the forefront of projects including the Diageo Special Releases and the sought-after Prima & Ultima series.


Her legacy will be preserved in the company’s global drinks archive at Menstrie, and she will pass her blending notes on to Diageo malts archivist Jo McKerchar, so future blenders may benefit from her work.


Ewan Andrew, Diageo president for supply chain and procurement, said: “Since the 1970s Maureen Robinson has been blazing a trail in our business and the wider industry, breaking down barriers for other women to follow in her pioneering footsteps.


“Her unstinting dedication to quality in her work, and her generosity in sharing her knowledge with others, is an inspiration to us all. Everyone at Diageo is proud of Maureen and everything she has achieved in her remarkable career, and we will all seek to continue the wonderful legacy she has built for our brands and our business.”


Rhona Ferrans, who leads Diageo’s blending team, added: “Maureen has been a wonderful colleague, mentor and friend to everyone in our blending team. As well as being a quite exceptional whisky blender, her dedication to nurturing other members of the team and creating the conditions for others to succeed is what has defined her incredible 45-year career.”

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Robinson said: “It has been a joy and privilege to work for Diageo in the Scotch whisky industry for so many years, and to share my time with so many talented people here in Scotland and around the world.


“I will always cherish the amazing opportunities and experiencecs to travel and meet people that Scotch whisky has allowed me, and although I am stepping back from the frontline, I will continue to offer my support and encouragement to colleagues in any way I can in the future.”


After studying pharmacy at Strathclyde University, Maureen began her career with Distiller’s Company Ltd, Diageo’s predecessor, in 1977 at the Glenochil Research Station in Clackmannanshire. 


She was made a Keeper of the Quaich in 2012 in recognition of her contribution to the industry, and was inducted into the Scotch Whisky Hall of Fame in 2019.

30 June 2022 – Bethany Whymark

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