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Kelsey McKechnie: Malt Master bei The Balvenie

19. March 2024

Kelsey McKechnie: Malt Master at The Balvenie

Kelsey McKechnie is the first woman in the history of The Balvenie to be appointed Malt Master of the distillery. David C. Stewart MBE will remain with The Balvenie as Honory Brand Ambassador and Former Malt Master. The 31-year-old Scot officially succeeded him in autumn 2023.

The combination of tradition and innovation characterises the Scottish distillery The Balvenie. It succeeds like no other in daring to try something new while at the same time maintaining and honouring what already exists.

The distillery, which is over 130 years old, is the only distillery in the Scottish Highlands that still utilises all five traditional whisky-making skills. The Balvenie is still family-owned today and is characterised by the people who work for it.

One of them is David C. Stewart MBE, who can look back on a 60-year career at The Balvenie. As Malt Master, he has overseen the quality of The Balvenie’s whiskies, developed new recipes and shaped the art of cask finishing, which is now used worldwide.

Kelsey McKechnie has been working alongside him for several years. She entered the world of whisky as a laboratory trainee and soon attracted attention with her pronounced talent for nosing. She was trained by David C. Stewart MBE and learnt everything about the traditional whisky production at The Balvenie from him.

A long education and a fine nose

Kelsey McKechnie grew up near The Balvenie and initially completed a bachelor’s degree in biology. This was followed by a laboratory internship in a whisky distillery and a Master’s degree in Brewing and Distilling. Soon afterwards, she became one of the youngest people in the world to become an Apprentice Malt Master at The Balvenie.

The successor to David C. Stewart MBE upholds the tradition of The Balvenie. She knows how important decades of knowledge and experience are for the quality of the whisky. At the same time, she realises that sometimes you have to be brave to develop further. The open communication at The Balvenie enables her and her team to try out innovative methods and blends and to break new ground.

Link to the brand page

Link to The Balvenie product master data on Xyxle

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