At just 29 years old, Julieann Fernandez is the Master Blender for the Distell Group, which includes Bunnahabhain, Deanston, and Tobermory distilleries. Always interested in science, she went to university with an eye towards becoming a forensic scientist, but when doing her placement between her 3rd and 4th year, she was drawn to a lab position at Chivas Brothers. Until then, she didn’t even drink whisky! But her analytical skills and talent for nosing and tasting stood her in good stead as part of their lab team, and she got to dabble in new product development, as well. After finishing her degree, she went to work for the Scotch Whisky Research Institute doing analytical support for the industry. While she enjoyed it, it wasn’t what really lit her up; so, when a position became available at Chivas Brothers’ grain distillery in Glasgow, she went for it. She loved learning about the distillation process, and when a blender position opened up at Distell, she made the switch. After just three years with Distell Group and working with their single malt portfolio, limited editions and so on, she was promoted to Master Blender (at the end of 2019).