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The Famous Grouse Master Blender receives Lifetime Achievement Award 12/05/2008


John Ramsay, Master Blender for The Famous Grouse

John Ramsay, master blender for The Famous Grouse, received The Lifetime Achievement award at this month’s annual Whisky Magazine’s ‘Icons of Whisky’ dinner in London. With over 40 years experience, John Ramsay is one of the most highly regarded blenders in the industry.

The ‘Icons of Whisky’ awards always mark a highlight in the annual whisky calendar and are designed to celebrate the people and places behind the greatest whiskies in the world.

John controls the whisky-making process across all aspects of production. With The Famous Grouse alone, John is responsible for more than 30 million bottles of whisky sold in more than 100 countries every year. From cask to glass, John will oversee the whisky through more than 8,000 quality checks to ensure the blend is consistent and of the highest smooth quality. In addition he also plays a major role in overseeing The Macallan and Highland Park ranges - two of the world’s finest single malts which also go into The Famous Grouse.

Commenting on the award, John said: “This ‘lifetime achievement’ award was a most unexpected honour. As ‘one of blending’s quiet men’, I don’t openly seek recognition for doing my day job. Being given this award, however, by some of the world’s leading whisky writers, is one of my proudest moments and second only to wining the ISC Trophy in 2007 for The Famous Grouse 30 year old blended malt.”

John joined the Scotch whisky industry in 1966, working in the laboratory at Strathclyde Distillery, then took up appointment as chief chemist with Wm Lawson Distillers in 1971 and took over the role of blender/chemist 10 years later. He joined Highland Distilleries in 1990 as production controller before moving to Edrington in 1991 in his present position as master blender.

He has been visiting lecturer to the Université des Eaux de Vie – the spirits university near Cognac in France for their Scotch whisky course. For several years John has been a member of the judging panel for the International Spirits Challenge (ISC), the highly prestigious competition which takes place annually in London and was invited to be the chairman of the Scotch whisky judges in 2003.

The Famous Grouse is imported, marketed and distributed by Wands Limited, a subsidiary company of The Farsons Group of Companies.