RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:


Paterson celebrates 40yrs at Whyte & Mackay

September 1970 welcomed a wave of firsts: thousands of people took to the streets for the first ever New York City Marathon; and the first Concorde landed at Heathrow airport after its inaugural flight.  

This month was also to change whisky brand Whyte & Mackay - one of Scotland’s leading makers and distributors of Scotch whisky – forever, as a bright-eyed, 21-year old Richard ‘The Nose’ Paterson walked through the company’s gates as an assistant blender.

Concorde’s nose cone may now have been turned into tin cans 40 years on, but Richard Paterson’s nose has taken him all the way to the top of his game, as this month (September 2010), he celebrates 40 years with Whyte & Mackay as master blender.  

A third generation master blender, Richard followed in his father and grandfather’s footprints by entering into the whisky trade. With whisky running through his veins, Richard began his career as a general production assistant at A. Giles & Company Whisky Blenders & Brokers where he learned the art of blending before joining Whyte & Mackay.  
Forty years later, as one of the world’s best known Master Blenders, Richard has travelled the globe extensively as an ambassador not just for Whyte & Mackay, but for Scotland. His celebrity clients include Johnny Cash, Morecambe & Wise, Joanna Lumley, Gordon Ramsay, Bruce Forsyth, Princess Anne and Richard and Judy to name a few!  He was also very recently named Whisky Ambassador of the Year at the 2010 Whisky Icons Awards.

Few master blenders in the industry can lay claim to similar success as Richard. In the last 10 years alone, his blends have won over 30 medals at the IWSC (International Wine and Spirits Competition), and he was instrumental in Whyte & Mackay being named ‘Global Distiller of the Year’ and the 30 year old winning the title of ‘Best Blended Whisky in the World’ at 2009’s IWSC.  

The master blender’s role is undeniably one of the most important and complex in the whisky making process. He is responsible for creating whiskies, watching them closely as they mature, maintaining quality and ensuring they are released when they are their best.  

Richard comments: “From blending new executions and working on perfecting the age old double marriage process to appearing in a Japanese comic, my 40 years at Whyte & Mackay have certainly been unique. Each day brings a new challenge and there are plenty more to be had. ”

About Richard Paterson


  • Richard is the author of ‘Goodness Nose’ – first published in 2008 - informative and entertaining books on the art of whisky blending.  In his book, he famously revealed he was first given whisky at the tender age of 8 yrs old
  • Richard’s Twitter was nominated alongside Stephen Fry and Duncan Bannatyne for the best Twitter page at the Twitter awards 2009
  • Richard’s is one of the most followed whisky blogs in the world
  • Richard is believed to be the first master blender to appear in a Japanese manga comic!
  • Richard holds many figureheads roles and official posts, including: diploma lecturer in Scotch Whisky for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust; Scotch whisky lecturer for the Scotch Whisky Association; president of The Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Society; chairman of spirits at the International Wine & Spirits Competition; president of the Institute of Wines & Spirits Scotland; president of the 49 Club Scotland.  He also recently won the Spirit of Scotland Trophy at the International Wine & Spirit Competition


1 September 2010 - Felicity Murray