SHE IS a highly experienced whisky expert who will take on one of the most coveted jobs in the Scotch whisky industry – the role of Johnnie Walker Master Blender – next year, making history in the process.

Dr Emma Walker will become the first female Master Blender for Johnnie Walker, the world’s number one whisky brand, taking over the reins from the legendary Dr Jim Beveridge who is retiring after more than 40 years with brand owner Diageo.

Aptly named although no relation to the Walker family, Emma will be one of a small, select group of people to be Master Blender in more than two centuries of the business’s existence, the first being founder John Walker.

Emma joined Diageo 13 years ago and has gained extensive knowledge and experience of Scotch whisky production and innovation to become a highly-respected blender who has worked extensively on Johnnie Walker for the last six years.

Her innovations include the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare series, and Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker.

Emma will lead a 12-strong team of expert whisky-makers in the pursuit of exceptional flavour, crafting and blending whisky from the four corners of Scotland to create the numerous Johnnie Walker variants which are sold in more than 180 countries around the world.

During her career, Emma has worked in different areas of whisky production, gaining experience and understanding of how flavour develops in fermentation, distillation and maturation, striving to ensure quality at every stage of the process.

She has spent several years working with Jim to develop an encyclopaedic understanding and knowledge of whisky.

Emma, paying tribute to Jim, said: “I have learned so much over my career working with Jim whose knowledge and generosity of spirit is unsurpassed in the world of whisky.

“I am honoured to take on the title of Master Blender of Johnnie Walker at an exciting time for the brand as we embark on the next step of our journey looking ahead to the next 200 years.

“I love experimenting and innovating with flavour and we’ll be working hard to not only continue to deliver the unrivalled quality that we are renowned for but also introducing blends to appeal to a new generation of Scotch whisky fans.”