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In Scotland in Speyside with the most powerful woman in the whiskey world: Rachel Barry

When you take a whiskey trip to Scotland and you won’t have decided which areas to visit if you choose it Speyside you certainly won’t go wrong. There are many distilleries, but three are worth the trip, are owned by the American multinational group Brown Forman and are located between Speyside and the Eastern Highlands region, the cradle of Scotch production. It is the pearl in the crown Glendronachone of the last distilleries to age whiskey practically only in very high quality ex-sherry casks, then there Benriah which still malts grain within its walls and for this reason can now be considered a production rarity and finally worth a visit Glenglaso it won’t hurt to at least admire the beauty of Sandend Bay where it is located.

But the beauty of Scottish landscapes and the indomitable goodness of whiskey aside, here you will have the opportunity to meet the most influential woman in the world of whiskey (and spirits).

JOHN PAVEL

What were the milestones of your life in the whiskey world?
“After graduating in chemistry from the University of Edinburgh, my career in whiskey began as a researcher at the Scotch Whiskey Research Institute under the legendary Dr Jim Swann. I subsequently moved into whiskey production working for various Scottish distilleries well known in the sector and in 2003 I became the first woman to be awarded the title of ‘Scotch Master Blender’, then joined Brown-Forman as Master Blender and in recent seven years I was responsible for the creation and unique identity of single malt Scotch whiskey GlenDronach, Benriach and Glenglassaugh. I received several awards, such as being the first lady of Scotch whisky, being inducted into the Whiskey Hall of Fame, but the icing on the cake was the highest award from the University of Edinburgh, an honorary doctorate of science awarded for contributions to whiskey and science.”

Scotland is home to the most powerful woman in the whiskey world, Rachel Barry
PETER DIBDIN PHOTOGRAPHER

What is the role of the master blender?
«The Master Blender guides the strategies in whiskey production, the wood to be used and the innovations to be adopted, he is the guardian of the quality standards and ensures that every drop of his whiskey is the best it can be , from barley to bottle. He has to travel to every corner of the globe to make his brand known, to promote new whiskies, to draw inspiration from the markets, to select new casks for aging from Kentucky to Spain.”

What is the role of women in the world of whiskey and spirits today?
“It’s a great time for women to work in the industry. Without a doubt, more women are involved in whiskey production than ever before. Taking every opportunity to upskill and gain experience, women are influencing manufacturing and marketing, finance and sales, shaping the future of the industry. My advice to women hoping to take this career path is to grab every opportunity with both hands! It’s a great sector to work in.”

Source: VanityFair

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