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Diageo, a global leader in beverage alcohol, is proud to support its Craftswomen program, celebrating the talented, bold and pioneering women who make some of the world’s most beloved spirits. These skilled Craftswomen are creating spirits enjoyed around the world and are among the diverse blenders leading the industry.

EBONI MAJOR, WHISKEY BLENDER AT THE BULLEIT DISTILLING CO.
As a Whiskey Blender for Bulleit, Eboni Major brings an unparalleled passion day-in and day-out to her work, going above and beyond to ensure that our characteristically high-rye, high-quality liquid delivers a consistent, high-quality experience for fans every time they enjoy Bulleit. Eboni is a proud alumnus of Alabama A&M University, where she graduated with a degree in food science and technology. Eboni’s background in food quality has uniquely positioned her to bring a new level of insight and innovation to the Bulleit distilling process and the BDC family. Working on Bulleit Bourbon was Eboni’s first job in the distilling industry, prior to which she worked as an intern for Kettle Chips.

While there are many aspects of her job that she enjoys, Eboni is most proud to be inspiring other women and African Americans to blaze trails in the world of whiskey. When people discover that Eboni is a whiskey blender for Bulleit, she says that more often than not people are both surprised and excited, as it’s not a common career path – especially for a female or someone who is a minority. “As a young woman from Birmingham, Ala., I’m proud of where I am today and thankful that taking the road less traveled has led me to discover my passion for whiskey,” says Major. “As a Food Scientist, I assumed my chance to get into the industry would be in quality control. Had I just gone with that, I may have missed my dream position. I encourage anyone considering a career in this industry to just go for it. We have so much to offer!” The demographics for whiskey drinkers and for those working in the industry are changing quickly, and Eboni is proud to be working with Bulleit to be part of the evolution.* **

When she isn’t experimenting with new whiskey blends, Eboni enjoys spending time with her adorable goldendoodle - Penny, watching Alabama football (roll tide!), hosting family cook-offs and exploring functional foods to create skincare products – did you know that garlic is actually great for cleansing your face?! Eboni is full of a multitude of fun facts, both whiskey and non-whiskey related.

* More than two in five women (43%) and two in five African Americans (40%) admit to being whiskey drinkers (Source: US Dark Spirits Mintel Report, 2018)


** 24% of African Americans say they drink more whiskey now compared to last year (Source: US Dark Spirits Mintel Report, 2018)
Nicole Austin - General Manager & Distiller of Cascade Hollow Distilling Co.
In March 2018, DIAGEO named Nicole Austin General Manager & Distiller of Cascade Hollow Distilling Co.

Before she made her way to Tullahoma, Austin graduated from Manhattan College with a major in Chemical Engineering in 2006, before landing her position as a Master Blender for Kings County Distillery in 2010.

She then joined The Oak View Spirits consulting firm where she handled everything from raw material sourcing to contract negotiations.

Most recently, Nicole served as Project Commissioning Engineer for William Grant & Sons at the Tullamore Distillery in Ireland. She’s also been a fierce advocate for the distilling industry as a founding board member of the American Craft Spirits Association and co-chair of Legislative, Convention and State Guild Committees.
Emma Walker - Expert Whiskey Blender
Emma walker began working for Diageo in 2008 and is an expert whisky blender – one of the team of twelve working together in pursuit of blending excellence.

She has a background in scientific research with production expertise, she is constantly developing her understanding and knowledge of whisky production and maturation.

During her career, she has worked in different areas of whisky production; gaining experience and understanding of how flavor develops in fermentation, distillation and maturation, striving to ensure quality at every step.

In the Whisky Specialist team, Emma has access to more than nine million casks of maturing Scotch whisky, from distilleries across Scotland.