demographic. And though Jim Beam’s
Red Stag (launched in 2009) focuses
its marketing efforts evenly between
males and females, approximately 45%
of Red Stag drinkers are female, which
skews significantly higher than any other
whiskey in the portfolio according to Dan
Cohen, senior public relations manager
for Beam.
But there’s always been a little touch
of lady in some iconic whiskey brands.
For instance, the design and shape of
the Maker’s Mark bottle—the label, font
and famous red wax seal—was the handi-
work of Marjorie Samuels, the wife of
founder Bill Samuels Sr. Today, Maker’s
Mark is the only bourbon company to
have a female VP of operations, Victoria
Since 2006, Stephanie Macleod has
been the master blender for Dewar’s, the
first woman to hold that position and
only the seventh master blender in the
brand’s 160-year history. Kay Fleming
is the master blender for Glenkinchie.
Gillian Macdonald is the distiller at
Penderyn. And the ranks of female brand
ambassadors include Karen Fullerton of
Glenmorangie, Hollis Bulleit from Bulleit
and Heather Greene from Glenfiddich,
among others.
Ladies Only: Events and
For Stephanie Ridgway, brand manager
and ambassador for Highland Park Whisky,
it’s no surprise that groups of like-minded
women are joining together to enlighten
one another about whiskey. “Overall, I feel
like women are more at ease with another
women leading the show,” she reasons.
Lauren Shayne Mayer and Gabby
Shayne—co-managing directors of their
family business, the Scotch Malt Whisky
Society of America—also recently created
the Whisky Sisters, a consulting and edu-
cation business. They have seen increased
female attendance over the years at the 13-
city tour of the prestigious Single Malt &
Scotch Whisky Extravaganza. Says Mayer:
“I think many women are tired of tasteless
vodkas and ‘she-she’ drinks. They are inter-
ested in expanding their palates, much like
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Rachel Barrie of Morrison Bowmore Distillers
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