Brown-Forman hires assistant blenderBy Melita Kiely
Benriach owner Brown-Forman has appointed Kirsten Ainslie as assistant blender to Rachel Barrie.
Ainslie will work closely with Barrie, who is master blender for single malts including The GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh.
Before joining Brown-Forman, Ainslie worked as a distiller at John Crabbie & Co in Edinburgh for three years.
Ainslie said: “I feel very privileged to be taking on the role of assistant blender and working alongside Rachel Barrie, who is renowned in the whisky industry.
“Working closely with Rachel, I hope to build on the legacy of maturing and marrying different casks, and crafting whiskies to be enjoyed by newcomers and connoisseurs alike.”
Together, Ainslie and Barrie will oversee spirit quality, product development and innovation, cask selection, and whisky and wood management.
Barrie commented: “It’s a really exciting time for Benriach, The GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh and welcoming Kirsten to the team signals our long-term commitment to investing into and growing our wonderful single malts.
“Kirsten will be a great addition to the team. Nurturing young talent is an important part of what we do at Brown-Forman and Kirsten has certainly proven she has the best nose for the job.”
Earlier this month, Benriach revealed a whisky made entirely from barley malted at its floor maltings – the first bottling of the sort from the distillery in a century.
Meanwhile, in June this year, Highland distillery Glenglassaugh released a 50-year-old single malt, priced at £5,500 (US$7,652) per bottle.