One of the whisky industry’s most accomplished master blenders has been announced as the recipient of the 2023 Dr Jim Swan Award for Services to Scotch Whisky. 

Maureen Robinson, who retired from Diageo earlier this year, was celebrated for her 40 year career developing and curating Scotch Whisky for in the Diageo portfolio at the 5th Scottish Whisky Awards held in Glasgow on Thursday 30 November 2023.  

Maureen was recognised an innovative blender in the 1980s and was at the forefront when the first concept of the master blender first emerged.    Her whisky career has seen her innovate on products such as Johnnie Walker Blue Lable, Buchanan’s 18 year old, Old Parr Superior and the Diageo Rare Malts collection.   This led to a move into Single Malt innovation and she was involved from the beginning in the development of The Singleton brand portfolio from consumer research to developing all subsequent line extensions.  

In 2015 she was part of the team which developed the Rare and Exceptional Malts portfolio for high net worth private buyers.  By this time her experience, nose and understanding of flavour meant she was incredibly influential in some of Diageo’s rarest malts.  This included earlier this year, her final Diageo whisky; The Singleton 40 year old. 

Alan Wolstenholme, Chair of the Judging Panel, commented, 

" The Jim Swan Award is presented at the discretion of the judging panel to an individual who best displays the qualities and characteristics which Jim Swan displayed throughout his own career.   Those being a passionate collaborator, a humble and a career in Scotch whisky developed with a love of Scotch.” 

Maureen Robinson commented; 

“I would like to thank everyone who was involved in making this happen it is very much appreciated.  I didn’t have the pleasure of working with Jim but  I would like to thank the Scottish Whisky Awards for creating this award in memory of him and all the work he did for the Scotch Whisky Industry.” 
Maureen’s award was announced in front of over 500 leaders from the Scottish Whisky industry at the 5th annual Scottish Whisky Awards which took place in Glasgow on Thursday 30 November 2023. 
 
About The Scottish Whisky Awards 

The Scottish Whisky Awards were created in 2018 with an objective to promote Scotch Whisky at home and abroad.  Created by KDMedia, the Edinburgh-based event company, the programme is chaired by Alan Wolstenholme, formerly of William Grant and Sons and the Scottish Distillers Association.  Each year, the programme welcomes approximately 300 whiskies into the competition which are tasted live in a blind tasting event involving 30 expert judges.  In 2022, the awards announced that 165 whiskies have progressed to the finals.  The results will be announced on 30 November 2022 - St Andrews Day – at an industry dinner which will celebrate the winners and announce the ultimate award of the night, The Scottish Whisky Distillery of the Year which is kindly sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers.   In 2019, the awards created the Dr Jim Swan Award for services to Scotch Whisky.  The award, created with the approval of the family of the late Dr Swan, seeks to highlight the achievements of an individual involved in the whisky industry to promote Scotch whisky at home and abroad.  In 2021, the award was presented to Sheila Birtles, a former colleague of Swans and co-creator of the world’s first flavour wheel which has now been adopted worldwide by whisky and other drinks. 
 
Further information: 
Kirsten Speirs, KDMedia Ltd, 0131 337 6232 kirsten@kdmedia.co.uk