TASTE Spring 2023

REECE SIMS Reece Sims is a former award-winning Vancouver-based bartender who holds her WSET Level 3, Executive Bourbon Stewardship Certification and has completed courses at the Irish Distilling Academy. After years of writing about whisk(e)y on WhiskeyMuse.com she recently created the Reverse Tasting Method: Whisk(e)y Sensory Program. Connect with her @reecesims or @whiskeymuse

Photo courtesy of Diageo


Emma Walker knew from a young age that she enjoyed chemistry, but it wasn’t until her first taste of Talisker in university that she realized she had a passion for flavour science that extended to whisky. After completing a PhD in chemistry, Walker worked as a process chemist before starting with Diageo in 2008 in their Technical Centre. Developing a well- rounded set of experiences and skills over the next decade on the Whisky Specialist Team and in varying production roles focused on distilling and blending, Walker became Johnnie Walker’s Master Blender at the end of 2021. Despite being the first woman at Johnnie Walker to hold this title, Walker makes little differentiation between being the Master Blender and the first female Master Blender. As she notes, “I often get asked about being a female working in a male industry, but to be honest, I don’t see the industry this way. We’re a group of people passionate about making Scotch whisky—the whisky team has always had a strong gender balance.”

We believe whisky is for everyone and we’re encouraging inclusion and diversity in every sense…

From being consumed neat, in highballs, or in upscale cocktails, Johnnie Walker’s expressions are designed to be versatile and appeal to a wide audience. This ethos of versatility and inclusivity extends to Walker’s mindset around whisky. “We believe whisky is for everyone and we’re encouraging inclusion and diversity in every sense, in the workplace, in our communities, and with our consumers,” emphasizes Walker. She goes on to comment, “progress is being made in that regard, but there’s still a long way to go, but we’re determined to lead that agenda.”

JOHNNIE WALKER 12-YEAR-OLD BLACK LABEL BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY United Kingdom $62.99 7880 This is a sophisticated and balanced blended Scotch, with layers of herbal notes, sweet citrus and cereal topped with brown sugar and ashy smoke. Versatile for cocktails or sipping solo.



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