David Stewart holding bottle of Balvenie

David Stewart

David Stewart

  • The longest-serving Master Blender and Malt Master in the industry – over 45 years at William Grant & Sons
  • Award-winning Malt Master of Glenfiddich and The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whiskies
  • Master Blender of Grant’s Scotch whisky

Balvenie BottlesBorn in Ayr on the west coast of Scotland in 1945, David Stewart started work at William Grant & Sons as an apprentice in 1962, the year before Single Malt Scotch Whisky was first exported to England, when Glenfiddich became the first single malt to be enjoyed outside Scotland.

Following a 12 year apprenticeship at the independent family distillers learning the skills of nosing and blending the best quality Scotch whisky, David was appointed Master Blender of William Grant & Sons in 1974; a position he has held ever since, making him the longest-serving Master Blender and Malt Master of any distillers in the industry.

David Stewart inspecting bottleDuring his 46 years at William Grant & Sons, David has developed an award-winning range of single malts and blends which have earned him some of the industry’s top accolades and helped William Grant & Sons become Distiller of the Year for an unprecedented three times in a row. Personally, he has been awarded the Grand Prix of Gastronomy by the British Academy of Gastronomes and lifetime achievement awards from both the International Wine & Spirit Competition and highly influential whisky magazine Malt Advocate.

His key achievements include the development of the world’s first single malt to be finished in different woods – The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old and the introduction of Glenfiddich Solera Reserve 15 Year Old, the first and only single malt to use the innovative Solera maturation process. He also developed the world’s newest single malt, Kininvie, used principally for blending, in 1990.

rustic townAs Master Blender at William Grant & Sons, he developed the world’s first blends to be finished in Ale and Sherry Casks, with the introduction of Grant’s Ale Cask Reserve and Sherry Cask Reserve. His passion for the art of blending has also helped Grant’s Family Reserve, the world’s fourth best-selling Scotch whisky, receive consistent international acclaim as one of the world’s best blends.

In addition, David’s pioneering spirit and dedication to his craft, coupled with his modest, unassuming manner has made him one of the best-loved and respected craftsmen in the business.

His job takes him all over the world but he spends most of his time travelling around Scotland working with the craftsmen across William Grant & Sons’ sites including The Glenfiddich and The Balvenie Distilleries in Dufftown, The Girvan Distillery in Girvan, Ayrshire and at the company’s Customer Service Centre outside Glasgow.

David lives outside Glasgow with his wife Ellen and three children Heather, Colin and Alan and is an avid Ayr United football fan who also enjoys curling and golf.

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