Julieann Fernandez wins Icons of Whisky Scottish title

Distell International’s master blender, Julieann Fernandez, has won the regional Icons of Whisky award for Scotland at the World Whisky Awards ceremony in Edinburgh.

Julieann Fernandez is the master blender for Distell Group – spanning Bunnahabhain, Tobermory and Deanston distilleries, Black Bottle and Scottish Leader.

Aged only 30, she is one of the youngest people in the world to hold this title.

Julieann followed an unusual pathway into the whisky industry, studying forensic science and assuming she’d end up working for the police. Instead, she completed a placement with a whisky research organisation and fell in love with the sector, leading to her current role as Master Blender.

After moving to Distell Group in 2017, Julieann worked as a blender before being promoted to her current title where she oversees the portfolio of distilleries to help produce some of Scotland’s finest award-winning whiskies.

In the last 18 months she has masterminded the creation of 25 limited-edition whiskies and two additions to the core range of Bunnahabhain, Tobermory, Ledaig and Deanston malts, as well as Black Bottle and Scottish Leader blends.

Julieann said: ‘It is such an honour to gain the ultimate recognition from such an esteemed panel of judges. Whisky has always been a passion and it’s a genuine privilege to work across so many award-winning brands with the best team in the industry. There is an extremely exciting pipeline of releases for Distell Group in 2022.’

The awards aim to recognise the people, places and products that complete the whole dynamic of the whisky industry, not just the distilleries and the teams that work in them, but also the individuals and businesses that work to support and promote them and their products.

Following the awards ceremony, Julieann will next compete against the group of other regional winners to win the Global Icons of Whisk’ Award which will be announced in March.