Macallan's first female whisky maker

Macallan's first female whisky maker

Kirsteen Campbell to lead strengthened team

News | 01 Oct 2019

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The Macallan has appointed Kirsteen Campbell, renowned throughout the industry for her expertise and knowledge, as master whisky maker for its single malt whisky.

She will lead a newly strengthened Whisky Mastery Team, enhanced to continue delivering the outstanding quality, natural colour and distinctive aromas and flavours of The Macallan.

The team now also incorporates the role of master of wood to reflect the complete whisky making process and the vital influence of wood on the character of The Macallan whisky. It seamlessly combines innovation with craftsmanship and heritage to continue The Macallan’s commitment to exceptional quality since 1824.

The six-strong Whisky Mastery Team includes: Kirsteen Campbell, master whisky maker; Stuart MacPherson, master of wood; Sarah Burgess, lead whisky maker; Polly Logan, whisky maker; Steven Bremner, whisky maker; and Russell Greig, sample room assistant.

Its formation will formally see maturation and whisky making working hand in hand from the very beginning of the journey to bring out the best of spirit and wood. It will additionally secure the legacy of almost two centuries of whisky making heritage, by bringing together the next generation of whisky makers with The Macallan’s most experienced and skilled craftsmen and women. As part of the new approach, apprentices with natural sensory talent will learn the art of whisky making from the depth and breadth of experience within the Whisky Mastery Team.

Originally from Thurso in the Highlands, Kirsteen is the first woman to become The Macallan Master Whisky Maker in its long-standing history spanning almost 200 years. She will transition to the position from her current role within the brand’s parent company Edrington.

Embarking on her journey into the industry in 2001 with a degree in Food Science, Kirsteen worked in a new make spirits laboratory, where she discovered her passion for Scotch whisky and her extraordinary sense of smell.

Kirsteen joined Edrington in 2007 as a whisky quality technologist and progressed her career to her most recent roles within for Cutty Sark, Naked Grouse, The Famous Grouse and The Glenrothes. She holds a Diploma in Distilling and has also worked at the Scotch Whisky Research Institute.

Kirsteen’s appointment and The Macallan’s enhanced focus on the art and science of whisky making and mastery of the team marks the next chapter in the history of the world-renowned single malt whisky. It follows a landmark year in 2018, which saw the opening of The Macallan Distillery Experience on Speyside, designed by internationally acclaimed architects, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and paves the way for the brand’s 200th anniversary in 2024.

Kirsteen said: “I feel a real sense of honour and pride to be entrusted as the custodian of The Macallan, charged with leading the Whisky Mastery Team in the creation of The Macallan’s remarkable single malt whiskies. Having been a part of the wider Edrington whisky making team for over a decade, I’m really looking forward to working more closely with the team at The Macallan.

“The Macallan is at the pinnacle of whisky making across the globe and the Whisky Mastery Team will combine the whisky makers’ depth and breadth of skills and experience to drive forward The Macallan legacy for the future.”




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