Top 10 female master distillers and blenders

9th March, 2016 by Kristiane Sherry

Kirsty Black, master distiller and distillery manager at Arbikie Highland Estate

Kirsty Black, Arbikie

Kirsty Black kicked off her career in the medical devices industry before pursuing a Masters Degree in Brewing and Distilling at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. Despite expecting brewing to emerge as her preferred discipline, Black says she fell for the “amazing process” of distilling.

Prior to joining family-owned Arbikie in 2014, Black consulted on the Summerhall Distillery build in Edinburgh, and helped develop the recipe for Pickering’s Gin. Today her role comprises Arbikie product development, including Kirsty’s Gin, released in July 2015.

“I’m delighted to see two years of hard work culminate in ‘Kirsty’s Gin’,” Black said at the time. “I would like to thank all those who helped me along the way, in particular Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Botanics and the Forfar Botanists.”

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.

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