Master whisky maker honoured for services to Scotch

Jim Beveridge

Dr Jim Beveridge, Johnnie Walker Master Blender, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his outstanding service to the Scotch whisky industry.

In a career spanning almost four decades with Diageo, Beveridge has established himself as one of the most highly respected figures in the industry, renowned for his skill and dedication to quality, as well as his considered and unassuming manner.

The accolade comes as Johnnie Walker prepares to celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2020. Beveridge is only the sixth person in two centuries of the company’s history to have held the position of Master Blender, the first being founder John Walker himself.

Based at Diageo’s blending rooms in Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, Beveridge leads a team of 12 blenders responsible for the quality and consistency of all the company’s Scotch whisky brands. He also works closely with distillers, coopers, coppersmiths and all the craftspeople involved in producing Diageo’s Scotch.

He has been the recipient of several industry accolades, including being inducted into the World Whisky Hall of Fame in 2015 and in 2016 he was named Master Blender of the Year by the International Whisky Competition for the second consecutive year, a first in the history of the competition.

Commenting on the award Dr Jim Beveridge paid tribute to the people who make Scotch whisky and their passion and commitment to the craft. He said: “I am honoured to accept this award on behalf of everyone who contributes to making Johnnie Walker. It is a team effort by all the women and men who work in our distilleries, coppersmiths, cooperage, warehouses and bottling halls across Scotland.

“We believe we are the custodians of our brands, standing on the shoulders of the giants who went before us. I really feel that today. This is recognition of everyone, over the years, who has been involved in making Johnnie Walker the leading global brand that it is.”