International Women’s Day – Celebrate Women In Whisk(e)y

International Women’s Day celebrates the achievement of women, and there are many women to celebrate in whisk(e)y.  Let’s celebrate these leaders and innovators by raising a glass to them!



Dr. Rachel Barrie – Master Distiller, Benriach Distillery

Dr. Rachel Barrie is the Master Distiller at Benriach Distillery and is known as the “First Lady of Scotch”. Dr. Barrie has been paving the way for women in whisky for over 27 years, and she was the first female Scotch Whisky Master Blender to receive an Honorary Doctorate and be inducted into Whisky Magazines ‘Hall of Fame’. She was also inducted as a “Keeper of the Quaich” in 2020.


Cara Laing – Director of Whisky, Douglas Laing

Cara Laing was born into whisky.  Her grandfather Fred Douglas Laing founded Douglas Laing & Co. in 1948. Cara began her career in marketing and worked as the Marketing Manager for Bowmore and Glen Garioch. She joined Douglas Laing & Co. in 2013 as the Director of Whisky.  She oversees marketing, and the approval of cask samples. In 2014, she was one of the youngest women ever to be appointed as a “Keeper of the Quaich”.


Jill Boyd – Whisky Maker, The Compass Box Whisky Company

Jill Boyd is a Certified Distiller and Whisky Maker for The Compass Box Whisky Company. Jill joined The Compass Box Whisky Company as whisky maker and blender in 2016.  She works on the core Compass Box Whiskies and well as new blends in the Limited Edition range.  She was lead blender on some of Compass Box’s most recent limited releases including Hedonism and No Name No.2.


Caitlin Quinn – Master Distiller, Eau Claire Distillery

Caitlin Quinn in an incredible force in the Canadian whisky industry and is the award winning Master Distiller at Eau Claire Distillery.  Caitlin was born in Winnipeg and raised in Scotland and has been a part of the Eau Claire Distillery team since 2015.  She was an integral part of the team that created Alberta’s first, Single Malt Whisky as well as a variety of other whiskies, gins, and vodkas.



Victoria Eady Butler, Master Distiller, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey

Victoria Eady Butler, is the great-great-granddaughter of the Uncle Nearest namesake, Nearest Green.  Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is lead by a team of five incredible women, and they are making their mark on the Whiskey industry. Victoria Eady Butler recently made history when she was honoured with Master Blender of the Year title in 2022 at Whisky Magazine’s American Icons of Whisky Awards. This made her the first person to win the title consecutively, as she was also the first female distiller to be awarded the Master Blender of the Year title in 2021.


Nic Christiansen – Assistant Blender/Manager of Blending Operations, Barrell Craft Spirits

Nic Christiansen is the Assistant Blender and Manager of Blending Operations for Barrel Craft Spirits. As a bartender, mixologist and bourbon expert, Nic is part of the team that blends award winning batches and special releases and manages the single barrel program.


Becky Harris – Co-Owner/Chief Distiller, Catoctin Creek

Becky Harris Co-Owner and Chief Distiller for Catoctin Creek whiskey in Purcellville, Virginia. Catoctin Creek was founded by Becky and Scott Harris in 2009 and they were the first legal distillery in Loudoun County since before Prohibition.  Becky comes from a chemical engineering background, and she has taken that knowledge and applied to the world of whiskey.

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