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Kirstie McCallum leaves Halewood for Whyte & Mackay

Halewood Artisanal Spirits has hired ex-Compass Box whisky maker Jill Boyd as master blender after the departure of Dr Kirstie McCallum.

Kirstie McCallum, formerly of Glen Moray, Halewood and Distell, has joined Whyte & Mackay

McCallum, who joined Halewood in January 2021 to develop the firm’s whisky portfolio, has been named Whyte & Mackay’s new master blender.

She previously worked at Speyside distillery Glen Moray and South African drinks firm Distell.

Kieran Healey-Ryder, head of whisky discovery at Whyte & Mackay, said McCallum was a “welcome addition to the team”, which includes Richard Paterson, Margaret Nicol, Gregg Glass, Joe Ricketts, Kirsty Hodge and Nick Wilson.

“The artistry, creativity and imagination of our Whyte and Mackay whisky makers is fundamental to what makes each expression special,” said Healey-Ryder.

“It is a team effort. All of us take pride in what we make and do here.”

The Whyte & Mackay portfolio includes single malt Scotch brands The Dalmore, Fettercairn, Jura and Tamnavulin.

Jill Boyd appointment

Jill Boyd
Jill Boyd is Halewood’s new master blender

McCallum’s successor at Halewood, Boyd, was a former Compass Box whisky maker and brand ambassador.

In her new role, Boyd will oversee the creation of whiskies for Halewood’s UK distilleries, including Wales-based Aber Falls, Bankhall in Cumbria, and Edinburgh’s Bonnington site, where Crabbie & Co is produced.

She will also develop Irish whiskey brands Samuel Gelston’s and The Pogues.

“I am so excited to be joining the Halewood business,” Boyd added.

“They have such an incredible line up of emerging whisky brands from all over the UK, and a commitment to producing new and innovative whiskies and blends.

“I can’t wait to work, and learn, alongside the hugely passionate teams at the likes of Aber Falls and Bonnington, and to closely collaborating to produce truly exceptional products.”

At Scotch producer Compass Box, Boyd focused on blending ‘art and science’ to create limited edition whiskies while maintaining the quality of the brand’s core range.

She also won the Master Blender of the Year accolade at the World Whisky Awards in 2020.

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