Everyday Drinkers Special: Scotch Whisky with Keith Law

Keith Law is a master blender at Diageo and has been in the industry since 1979. Keith was happy to sit down with us for almost an hour telling us about Scotch, the industry and a few of the great qualities of a fine scotch. What makes a single malt and what makes a blend? Find out all the details in the interview!

Read on for his full biography.

Master blender Keith Law began his career in the Scotch whisky industry in 1979 when he joined the Quality Control Laboratory at Caledonian Distillery in Edinburgh. Keith’s career began not in malt whisky but in grain whisky, where he worked closely alongside his father at this renowned grain distillery.

A sensory specialist in the whisky industry, Keith spent 12 years as part of the management team at Carsebridge Technical Centre, responsible for quality for all grain distilling and specialised areas of malt distilling. The primary focus of this role was around optimisation of distillery yields, flavour profiles and distillery performance; A large part of this role involved the nosing of new make spirit.

In 2007, with the formation of Diageo’s European Technical Centre, Diageo’s Master Blenders have joined together to become one team. Keith’s role within the technical centre as a Master Blender is varied. He is heavily involved in the development of new whisky products with end to end responsibility from cask selection through to overseeing production of pre-market launch bottlings.

Since joining Diageo, Keith has worked at each of Diageo’s 27 malt distilleries and 2 grain distilleries. His roles have been heavily focused on all aspects of sensory analysis allowing Keith to develop significant insights into flavour creation, blending and a deep understanding of the effects of oak on maturation, cask structure and wood physiology.
After nearly 30 years in the “land of whisky flavour”, Keith is often asked to use his experience by providing Spirit Mastery support to various mentoring programmes within Diageo and is an intrinsic part of a team of the most respected whisky blenders in the world.

Keith originally hails from Edinburgh in Scotland but now lives in the central region near Stirling. In his spare time he enjoys playing rugby, scuba diving and walking through the beautiful scenery of Scotland with his wife and two young daughters.