The Scotsman has been in the industry for 19 years, with much of this career taking place in the UK and, most recently, Tasmania.
His first role in the industry was as a Scotch whisky distillery tour guide, after completing a degree in astrophysics. It’s said that the experience of this first role enhanced his ambition in the industry and led to an interest in sustainability in spirits distillation.
On his new role, Johnstone commented: “It is a privilege to be Master Blender for The Famous Grouse and to be part of the team that are the current custodians of this amazing brand. This beloved Scotch Whisky has played a prominent role in my life, part of so many celebrations with family and friends – just the aroma gives me a sense of being back home. I’m looking forward to delivering the high quality and character that is expected of The Famous Grouse and continuing the legacy of this well-loved whisky.”
Johnstone will work closely with the Edrington team to develop new sustainable practises, with the commitment to achieve Net Zero by 2045 at the forefront of any planning. The role will be based at Edrington’s ‘106 Sample Room’ in Glasgow, home to around 11,000 samples of single malts, grains and blends – with around 600 samples a day allegedly nosed by the blending team.
Joakim Leijon, Global Brand Director for The Famous Grouse, said: “Craig is a talented master blender and his experience and passion for the brand and for exploring new ideas in sustainability will help us to build on the global success of The Famous Grouse and also rise to the challenge of our Net Zero ambitions.”