It’s a name you might not know but Dr Jim Beveridge has a job that will make you green with envy – if you like whisky that is.
The scientist, who studied chemistry at university, has dedicated his life to blending and tasting scotch whisky.
Beveridge began his career at whisky maker Johnnie Walker 36 years ago and has risen through the ranks to the coveted position of master blender – leading a team of 12 scientists to experiment with new flavours and combinations to “leave a legacy for the future”.
It’s a pretty cool job, and now it’s landed Beveridge an honour.
The chemist has been accepted as a member of The Explorers Club – which has recognised some of the most famous names in science and exploration including Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Sir Edmund Hillary.
“It’s an amazing honour”, he said. “This idea of exploring and discovering is essentially what we have done. We’ve applied science to how whisky has been made.”
Flavours of smoke, fresh fruit, such as apples, pears and even bananas; rich fruits like sultanas, raisins and figs; and even sweet vanilla are balanced to create new blends.
The final product is affected by the way the whisky is distilled, the type of wood it’s matured in and how long it’s left for.
“The science and technology of whisky-making is really very important. In our blending team most of the members are now scientists and that’s a major part of the training”, Beveridge said.
“We still have lots of questions to answer. The scientist in me still loves this idea of making whisky, and I like a lot of the flavours as well, so I’m always intrigued as to how to make them and how to make great blends.”
And how does Beveridge drink his whisky? Long with ice and soda.