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Scotch Whisky

Stewart to mark 60 years at The Balvenie


David Stewart of The Balvenie.
David Stewart, malt master at The Balvenie.

ONE of the Scotch whisky industry’s most well-known names will mark a major milestone next week as he celebrates his 60th anniversary in the industry.

David Stewart, master blender and malt master at The Balvenie, joined parent company William Grant & Sons on 3rd September, 1962 as a whisky stocks clerk.

By 1974 he had become master blender, overseeing Glenfiddich and The Balvenie single malts as well as the company’s blended Scotch, Grant’s.

His six decades have seen him win a wide range of industry awards, both for his whiskies and for his wider contributions to the industry.

In 2016 he was presented with an MBE by the Queen.

Stewart’s time at William Grant & Sons has also seen him mentor other master blenders, including Glenfiddich malt master Brian Kinsman and The Balvenie’s current apprentice malt master, Kelsey McKechnie.

“The Balvenie holds a special place in my heart, and I am proud to have spent the better half of my life working at the distillery,” said Stewart.

“Whisky making is what I am passionate about, and I feel honoured to have been given the reins to create and experiment over the past 60 years. I enjoy passing my knowledge and stories onto Kelsey to continue building the legacy that makes The Balvenie what it is.”

McKechnie said she is “ extremely privileged to have learned from David over the past five years as I undergo my apprenticeship with The Balvenie”.

“David is an incredibly knowledgeable and patient man, and a living whisky legend,” she said.

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