Emma Walker to succeed Jim Beveridge at Johnnie Walker

Dr Emma Walker will take the reins as Johnnie Walker master blender in January 2022, as Dr Jim Beveridge OBE retires after 42 years at Diageo.

Aptly named, although no relation to the Walker family, Emma Walker joined Diageo 13 years ago, working 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 Walker will lead a team of 12 in creating the numerous Johnnie Walker variants that are sold in more than 180 countries around the world.

Emma Walker succeeds Jim Beveridge OBE becoming the first female Master Blender in the 200-year Johnnie Walker story

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

Dr Emma Walker commented: “I am honoured to take on the title of Master Blender of Johnnie Walker, and 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.

“I have learnt so much over my career working with Jim – whose knowledge and generosity of spirit is unsurpassed in the world of whisky,” she said.

Started his career with Johnnie Walker as an analytical chemist 42 years ago, Dr Jim Beveridge OBE is one of the most highly respected figures in the Scotch whisky industry, renowned for his skill and dedication to quality.

“It is with pleasure and confidence that I pass on this privilege to Emma. I know she will do a wonderful job as she possesses the knowledge, expertise, and dedication to make an amazing master blender,” he said.

“On a personal level I am delighted for her, and I know that her wonderfully infectious personality, that made working with her so enjoyable, will bring something exciting and different to the team and, indeed, to the wider Scotch industry.”

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Author: James Atkinson

Journalist specialising in the food, drink, travel and hospitality arenas. Australian International Beer Awards 2017 Media Award Winner and Certified Cicerone®.

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