Glenfiddich Master Blender Recognised as Master of the Quaich

Monday evening at Blair Castle in Scotland, Brian Kinsman was honoured as Master of the Quaich in front of 200 of the Whisky industry’s finest, including: the Duke of Argyll, the Earl and Countess of Dalhousie, the Viscount and Viscountess of Thurso, the Duke and Duchess of Fife, the East and Countess of Moray, the Earl of Erroll, and Lord Bruce – to name but a few. And there were plenty more.


Brian Kinsman is renowned throughout the whisky industry for his expertise following over 20 years of work. Having trained as a blender under David Stewart MBE, Kinsman consistently maintains the quality of some of the world’s best-loved whiskies at William Grant & Sons. Working now as Malt Master at Glenfiddich and Master Blender.

Also recognised with the title of Master was: Patrick Castinier of Pernod Ricard, Jason Craig of Edrington, Gavin Hewitt CMG of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Ed Pilkington of Diageo, and Gavin Smith (writer).

Lorne and Brian have created Balvenie French Oak

Inducted as a Keeper of the Quiach was Lorne Cousin, whose work on The Balvenie brand has culminated with a special release: The Balvenie French Oak, 16-Year-Old, finished in Pineau (fortified) Casks. Initially Lorne’s idea, the business backed the innovation by purchasing 16 casks which, in David Stewarts’ words, “just worked.” Cousin now works in the USA on the Glenfiddich brand.

Dave Broom, Gavin Smith, Becky Offering, Hans Offering, Charlie MacLean, Ash Pini

Six Masters and 44 Keepers were inducted on the evening, including our very own publishing editor, Ashley Pini Far right above), recognised for his work spanning 25 years on trade titles in Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore and the release of Explore WHISKY magazine in 2014.

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