Top 10 female master distillers and blenders

9th March, 2016 by Kristiane Sherry - This article is over multiple pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Despite significant progress, the spirits industry has yet to shake off a sense of patriarchal dominance. But as our collection of top [women] master distillers and blenders shows, excellence in spirits production can never be confined to just one gender.

Kirsty Black, Arbikie, spirits opener

This is our selection of some of the world’s leading [women] master distillers and blenders

Rum blending is a combination of art and science, asserts Appleton Estate’s master blender, Joy Spence. Which is why the lack of women studying and working in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) should be a concern to the spirits trade, with all four disciplines at the heart of production.

As our collection of top master distillers and blenders – who happen to be female – attests, STEM excellence, even in the often male dominated spirits trade, does not just belong to one gender. This collection of chemists, technologists and analysts are responsible for some of the world’s biggest spirits brands, and are leading the charge in pushing not just product development, but the wider industry forward.

While celebrating the talents of this group of blenders and distillers, its worth remembering that even in 2016 women associated with spirits get a raw deal. Female bartenders in the UK are paid on average 18% less than their male counterparts, according to the British Hospitality Association, and sexual harassment of staff and patrons in bars remains a real issue.

In the continuing spirit of International Women’s Day, click through to discover our top blenders and distillers, in no particular order – who happen to be female.

Have we left someone off the list? Let us know in the comments below. 

9 Responses to “Top 10 female master distillers and blenders”

  1. Benedicte says:

    By the way, the World’s Best Cognac (awarded at the World Cognac Awards, IWSC and San Francisco Spirit competition) is also aged and blended by a talented woman! Isabelle Couprie is the cellar master of Gautier Cognac House.

  2. Don A says:

    Seems you overlooked Riannon Walsh, master-blender, single malt expert, author, lecturer, founder of the Whiskies of the World Expo in San Francisco and now co-founder of Brandywine Branch Distillers in Elverson, Pennsylvania

  3. Dean says:

    Lesley Gracie the creator of Hendrick’s Gin among other things surely deserved a mention on this list?

  4. Rhonda says:

    Maggie Campbell at Privateer International needs to be on this list!!

  5. Damian Kaehler says:

    Stephanie McLeod from Dewar’s would have been at top of the list surely ? A great list of amazing talent all the same.

  6. Amanda says:

    Kirstie McCallum, blender at Burns Stewart

  7. Will Smith says:

    Surely the curator of this article’s memory stretches back to Tales of the Cocktail 2015?! Melanie Asher wins the Pioneer award as master blender & distiller of MACCHU PISCO. Good to see this honours list

  8. Eric says:

    Caley Shoemaker at Hangar 1 should be on this list

  9. Hey check out Spirit Works Distillery, where we have a entirely female production team! Lauren Patz is our head distillery trained by owner and female distiller Ashby Marshall.

Leave a Reply

If that's interesting, how about these?

Last Drop releases 1972 Lochside single grain

Rare whisky bottler The Last Drop Distillers has launched a 1972 single grain more...

Top 10 best value for money rums 2017

Available in a wide variety of expressions, with offerings to suit every more...

Work starts on Dublin Liberties Distillery

Quintessential Brands has commenced work converting a historic Dublin building more...

Southern Glazer’s hires Redell for Campari brands

US drinks distribution company Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has appointed more...

WhistlePig launches farm-to-bottle whiskey

Vermont-based distillery WhistlePig has released its first farm-to-bottle more...

The week in pictures

This week Javier Bardem took a tour of Speyside's Strathisla Distillery, more...

Top 10 little-known Irish whiskey facts

From the world's most expensive bottling to the origin of the Irish coffee, we more...

Rum's renaissance 'a complex picture of growth'

Rum might be the last spirit category to truly go premium, but there’s more...

Johnnie Walker rebrands Platinum as 18YO

Diageo-owned blended Scotch whisky Johnnie Walker has renewed its focus on age more...

Foxhole releases second grape-based gin

Following the release of its introductory English gin in 2016, Foxhole Spirits more...

New gin made with collagen to launch

Another product that claims to merge the worlds of beauty and spirits is poised more...

Bushmills unveils Bourbon finish in US

Irish whiskey brand Bushmills has introduced a Bourbon cask-matured expression, more...

Whisky workers seek 'honest answers' over Brexit impact

GMB Scotland members from the whisky industry will today meet with more...

Oregon spirits producer buys craft bottler

Oregon-based Eastside Distilling has acquired third party craft spirits more...

Tristan Stephenson joins Lidl's spirits team

Famed bartender and author Tristan Stephenson, co-founder of London’s Worship more...

Johnnie Walker rolls out Blenders’ Batch in US

Blended Scotch brand Johnnie Walker is to introduce its “experimental” more...

Crystal Head Vodka revives 'knock-off' lawsuit

Globefill Inc has returned to court in a trade dress infringement case against more...

Black Sea oak dram to mark Ardbeg Day

Islay single malt distillery Ardbeg will release a virgin Black Sea oak more...

Top 10 coffee-flavoured spirits

Coffee in hand, The Spirits Business explores the growing world of the more...

Buffalo Trace releases four-grain Bourbon

Buffalo Trace Distillery has released a new iteration of its Colonel E.H. more...