By Scott Wright

SCOTCH whisky giant Diageo has paid fulsome tribute to long-standing master blender Caroline Martin, who is set to retire.

Ms Martin has been credited with blazing a trail for women and mentoring talent in the industry during a 35-year career, which has seen her work on Scotch brands such as Johnnie Walker, J&B, Bell’s and Old Parr, as well as Irish whiskey Roe & Co. Her talents brought wider appreciation in the industry, earning the prestigious title of Keeper of the Quaich and being named blender of the year for Roe & Co by The Spirit Business magazine in 2019.

Ms Martin, who is based at Diageo’s Global Technical Centre in Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, will be replaced as master blender of Roe by George Harper.

She said: “The past 35 years have been an incredible journey and I am thankful to everybody at Diageo who have made it so memorable. The Scotch whisky industry has changed considerably over the decades and its fantastic to see the sector continue to go from strength to strength. I wish George all the best as he takes over the role of master blender at Roe & Co. I am looking forward to the next chapter, settling into my new home in Dundee and spending time with family and friends.”

Rhona Ferrans, Diageo whisky specialist team manager, said: “Caroline has made an extraordinary contribution to Diageo over the last 35 years and been a great example and source of inspiration to all of her colleagues. Her knowledge, experience, integrity and pursuit of excellence are amongst her incredible assets and she has made an enormous contribution to the development of Diageo brands over the years.

“Caroline’s legacy will carry on in all the brands she has worked on, and if you happen to visit the Roe & Co Distillery and visitor experience in Dublin’s buzzing Liberties district you will find Room 106, a tasting room that pays homage to Caroline and the number of blends it took to perfect the Roe & Co whiskey.”