Macallan names Campbell its first master whisky maker

1st October, 2019 by Nicola Carruthers

The Macallan has hired Kirsteen Campbell as its first master whisky maker as part of a restructure of the Scotch brand’s distilling team.

Kirsteen Campbell is The Macallan’s first master whisky maker

Campbell joined Macallan owner Edrington in 2007 as a whisky quality technologist and was appointed Cutty Sark master blender when the company acquired the brand in 2010.

She will transition to the master whisky maker position from her current role as master blender for blended Scotch brands The Famous Grouse and Naked Grouse.

The appointment marks the “next chapter” in the history of the brand, following the opening of the new Macallan distillery and visitor centre in Speyside last year.

Campbell will lead the “newly strengthened” Whisky Mastery team, which will now incorporate the role of master of wood, currently helmed by Stuart MacPherson.

Alongside Campbell and MacPherson, the Whisky Mastery team includes: Sarah Burgess, lead whisky maker; Polly Logan, whisky maker; Steven Bremner, whisky maker; and Russell Greig, sample room assistant.

The formation of the Whisky Mastery team will see “maturation and whisky making working hand in hand” and bring together the “next generation of whisky makers”.

As part of the new structure, apprentices with natural sensory talent will learn the art of whisky making from the team.

Campbell’s career in the industry started in 2002 with a degree in food science. She then discovered her passion for Scotch when working in a new make spirits laboratory.

In addition, Campbell holds a diploma in distilling and has also worked at the Scotch Whisky Research Institute.

‘Future legacy’

“I feel a real sense of honour and pride to be entrusted as the custodian of The Macallan, charged with leading the Whisky Mastery team in the creation of The Macallan’s remarkable single malt whiskies,” said Campbell.

“Having been a part of the wider Edrington whisky making team for over a decade, I’m really looking forward to working more closely with the team at The Macallan.

“The Macallan is at the pinnacle of whisky making across the globe and the Whisky Mastery team will combine the whisky makers’ depth and breadth of skills and experience to drive forward The Macallan legacy for the future.”

Igor Boyadjian, managing director, The Macallan, added: “The appointment of Kirsteen and investment in the future legacy of The Macallan, with the strengthening of the Whisky Mastery team, comes at an incredibly exciting time as The Macallan continues to cement its position as one of the world’s leading single malt whiskies.

“In the wake of the first anniversary of the new distillery, The Macallan is experiencing continued global growth and success, enjoying growing demand in new markets.”

In April this year, Lowland distillery Bladnoch appointed The Macallan’s Nick Savage as its new master distiller.

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