THE "extraordinary career of legendary Scotch whisky-maker Maureen Robinson" is being celebrated as she prepares to step down after 45 years in the industry.

Master Blender Ms Robinson, one of the first women in the industry to hold the prestigious title, has dedicated her professional life to the twin causes of making great Scotch whisky and making Scotch whisky great by creating opportunities for other women to succeed in the business.

During her time at Diageo, Ms Robinson has worked on many of the company’s leading brands including The Singleton, Johnnie Walker, Buchanan’s and Old Parr.

She built an unparalleled knowledge of Diageo’s 10 million cask inventory and has been instrumental in developing the company’s most prestigious projects including the Diageo Special Releases, Casks of Distinction programme and the highly sought-after Prima & Ultima series.

Her incredible legacy at Diageo will be preserved in the company’s global drinks Archive at Menstrie, and she marked her retirement by passing on her blending notes to Diageo Malts Archivist Jo McKerchar, so that future generations of blenders can learn from her work.

Ewan Andrew, Diageo president for supply chain and procurement, praised Ms Robinson as an inspirational figure in the company’s drive to create true inclusion and diversity across its workforce.

HeraldScotland: Maureen Robinson blazed a trail for women in whisky blending.Maureen Robinson blazed a trail for women in whisky blending.

He said: “Since the 1970s Maureen Robinson has been blazing a trail in our business and the wider industry, breaking down barriers for other women to follow in her pioneering footsteps.

“Her unstinting dedication to quality in her work, and her generosity in sharing her knowledge with others, is an inspiration to us all. Everyone at Diageo is proud of Maureen and everything she has achieved in her remarkable career, and we will all seek to continue the wonderful legacy she has built for our brands and our business.”

Also celebrating Ms Robinson's achievements, Rhona Ferrans, who leads Diageo’s blending team, said: “Maureen has been a wonderful colleague, mentor and friend to everyone in our blending team. As well as being a quite exceptional whisky blender, her dedication to nurturing other members of the team and creating the conditions for others to succeed, is what has defined her incredible 45-year career.”

Jo McKerchar, Diageo malt brand archivist, said: “The breadth and depth of Maureen’s contribution to our whisky brands has been truly remarkable, and we are honoured to take stewardship of her legacy. Our Archive is rich with notebooks and bottles created by the great master blenders of the past 200 years, and Maureen’s contribution will be celebrated alongside the legends of the industry.”

Ms Robinson said: “It has been a joy and privilege to work for Diageo in the Scotch whisky industry for so many years, and to share my time with so many talented people here in Scotland and around the world.

“I will always cherish the amazing opportunities and experiences to travel and meet people that Scotch whisky has allowed me and although I am stepping back from the frontline, I will continue to offer my support and encouragement to colleagues in any way I can in the future.”

After studying pharmacy at Strathclyde University, Ms Robinson began her career with Diageo’s predecessor company Distiller’s Company Ltd in 1977 as a young scientist at the Glenochil Research Station in Clackmannanshire.

It was here that her exceptional sense of smell was discovered, marking her out as a potential whisky blender. She spent nine years developing her nosing and tasting ability, even creating her own language to describe what she was able to sense, when nosing whiskies.

She was made a Keeper of the Quaich in 2012 in recognition of her exceptional contribution to the industry, and was inducted into the Scotch Whisky Hall of Fame in 2019.


Former RAF airfield to lead fight against cyber attacks

A FORMER World War II Royal Air Force (RAF) airfield between Dundee and Perth is to house a new optical ground station to test and demonstrate satellite quantum secure communications to fight the threat of cyberattacks.

This optical ground station project represents a total investment of around £1.1 million from the Quantum Communications Hub, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Heriot-Watt University and Dundee Satellite Station (DSS).


​Stagecoach grows profits as passengers return

PERTH-headquartered transport group Stagecoach has increased its profit and revenues over the last year, saying it has “firmly returned to growth” as passenger numbers recovered.

Stagecoach Group’s preliminary results for the year to the end of April 2022 reported revenues of almost £1.2 billion, up from £928.2m the previous year. Its total adjusted operating profit increased to £72.7m from £48.1m.


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