Drink Life Beverages

The GlenDronach’s Dr Rachel Barrie: 30 years in whisky

This week Dr Rachel Barrie from GlenDronach, Benriach and Glenglassaugh is celebrating three decades in whisky and

You might have noticed on our homepage that we’re shining the MoM-branded spotlight (it’s like

There’s lots to appreciate about the Highland distillery, which was established in 1826 and is one of

Certainly owners Brown-Forman believe in its potential, pumping $30

But the reason we’re appreciating it more this week is due to master blender Dr Rachel

“The team conducted research for the Scotch whisky industry, and my focus was on oak maturation and

During my time there, and moving on to work in production thereafter, I began to think about

Starting in my early twenties, I knew it would take time to acquire the knowledge, skills and

There she assumed responsibility for the BenRiach , GlenDronach , and Glenglassaugh distilleries

GlenDronach’s whisky has a certain character and it’s Dr Barrie’s job to showcase it

That means that Dr Barrie has had a career defined by managing a number of distilleries at

“Over my 30 years in the industry, I’ve had experience working with distilleries with wide-ranging characteristics

The first thing I did with GlenDronach, Benriach and Glenglassaugh was really take the time to explore

Because when each has very defined characteristics, the job becomes not just understanding how they differ, but

Dr Barrie says that her ambition is to create a “multi-faceted flavour experience that brings the essence

In her current portfolio, for example, Dr Barrie can assess the contrasting styles of whisky each distillery

Then there is the eclectic cask collection at the Benriach Distillery Company, aided by Brown-Foreman’s considerable

My vision with Benriach’s new range was to create whiskies with endless flavour possibilities and that

Dr Barrie has also perfected the art of the master blender pose: looking very seriously at a

Barrie notes one person above all others had a distinct impact on her life and career: Dr

He had a logical, analytical mind, balanced with a strong sense of intuition and sensory awareness, all

Her approach today reflects the belief that the master blender role comprises equal parts chemistry and artistry

Dr Barrie tells me that there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes

“It’s all about exploration and is a highly iterative process, kind of like a maze, where

“This equilibrium is one of my favourite things about the job, and it reflects who I am

The GlenDronach 12 Year Old comes with a free glass right now

Today, she defines her approach to whisky-making as more “strategic, creative, holistic, and richly integrated, but there

Her responses reflect the passion she has for this industry, and whisky itself