The Balvenie's malt master, David Stewart, has been presented with an MBE after devoting almost 54 years to Scotch. He was presented with the medal by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to the Scotch whisky industry at a ceremony in The Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland.
David's pioneering techniques have had a profound impact on Scotch whisky production methods used today. He is renowned for his groundbreaking work particularly around ‘cask finishes’ for The Balvenie and has developed a number of award winning whiskies enjoyed and loved by whisky drinkers all over the world.
Commenting on his MBE, David says: “I feel very humbled to receive this award. I started my career as a whisky stocks clerk in 1962 and I didn’t expect to become a malt master. I feel incredibly proud. I’ve been very fortunate to work for a family run company and it has allowed me the freedom to experiment throughout my career. It’s a privilege working in this industry so to be rewarded and recognised in this manner is very humbling.”
“I’ve received a number of messages from people all around the world. I’d like to thank those who have been kind enough to congratulate me on the award and to all of the wonderful people I’ve worked with since I started almost 54 years ago.”
David has also been recognised with a number of high profile industry awards throughout his career, including the Grand Prix of Gastronomy by the British Academy of Gastronomes, and a lifetime achievement award from the International Wine & Spirit Competition. He has also been named as an Icon of Whisky and a Master of the Quaich.
Simon Hunt, CEO of William Grant & Sons, says: “David’s dedication, skill and modesty have made him one of the best-loved and respected craftsmen in the business. David’s MBE is a testament to how well respected he is. He is considered to be one of the greatest master blenders and we are incredibly proud of him”
David will also be honoured with a beautiful book of congratulations, carefully designed in the style of an original whisky store register. Over the coming months pages from the book will travel across the globe, gathering well wishes and messages of congratulations from whisky enthusiasts and The Balvenie drinkers, before returning to Scotland to be bound and presented to David.
18 July 2016 - Rebecca Sterritt Paragraph Publishing, content manager