An icon of the world of whisky, industry legend Sandy Hyslop – Director of Blending and Inventory at Chivas Brothers – celebrates his 40th anniversary in the Scotch whisky industry this May.
Among his many prestigious achievements, Sandy holds the rare position of being only the fifth Master Blender in the distinguished history of Ballantine’s blended Scotch whisky. Progressing to Director of Blending in 2016 and Director of Inventory in 2018, Sandy now oversees the creation of all Chivas Brothers single malts and blended Scotch whiskies, including brands such as Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet.
With an emphasis on quality and consistency at all times, Sandy is passionate about opening up the whisky category to new audiences and pushing the boundaries of Scotch whisky crafting. Catering to the growing taste for bolder flavours, Sandy and his team launched the Chivas Extra 13 collection in 2019, an experimental 13 Year Old blend range which delivers extra flavour through the use of different casks.
Since Sandy took on this role, Royal Salute has undergone a major evolution, driven in part through the extension of the 21 Year Old range and innovations, such as rare cask finishes (the 26 Year Old Scottish Oak Cask Finish), alongside high-aged releases including the recent Forces of Nature by Kate MccGwire which includes a precious 53 Year Old blend.
Coinciding with Sandy’s anniversary, Ballantine’s unveiled its new 40 Year Old Masterclass Collection last month. This series will see the annual release over five years of five exceptional expressions of Ballantine’s 40 Year Old whisky, with each expression celebrating the five essential skills that former Ballantine’s Master Blender Jack Goudy passed on to his then apprentice, and now world-renowned Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop.