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Issue 46 - Women of High Spirits

Whisky Magazine Issue 46
March 2005


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Women of High Spirits

Some of the best whisky makers and blenders are women. Charles Cowdrey met some of them at a special roadshow.

A couple of issues back Whisky Magazine reported that more women than ever are drinking whisky, a revolutionary albeit welcome development, but women making whisky? If there still is a male-dominated bastion left, surely that is it.

But as a matter of fact, yes, women do make whisky and other fine spirits too, though in part this depends on exactly how you define ‘make.' To raise awareness of this fact, the drinks company Brown- Forman is spotlighting several prominently placed women on the production side of the industry.

Its ‘Women of High Spirits' road show features five esteemed female blenders, tasters or distillers of spirits products sold by Brown-Forman.

The ‘Women of High Spirits' are: Rachel Barrie, malt whisky master, Glenmorangie. She is responsible for all sensory and quality-related aspects of new product development for the company's distilleries including Ardbeg.

Lynne Tolley, master taster, Jack Daniel's, and incidentally Jack's great-grandniece. She is one of the distillery's official taste testers and creates many Jack Daniel's food recipes.

Peggy Stevens, master taster, Woodford Reserve. She was the first female taster in the bourbon industry and is believed to be the only one. She focuses on pairing bourbon with food.

Joy Spence, master blender, Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum.

She was the first female master blender in the spirits industry and is responsible for creating and maintaining that brand's extra-aged expressions.

Caroline Steger, PhD,...

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