Having studied pharmacy at Stratchclyde University, Robinson began her career as a scientist at the Glenochil Research Station in Clackmannanshire. She spent nine years developing her nose and tasting ability having been earmarked as a potential whisky blender, and even developed her own language to describe her senses when nosing whisky.
In her time at Diageo, Robinson worked with many of the leading brands within the company, including Johnnie Walker, The Singleton and Buchanan’s. She is said to have been instrumental in developing the company’s prestigious
She was made a Keeper of the Quaich in 2012 due to her exceptional contributions to the industry, and in 2019 became an inductee into the Scotch Whisky Hall of Fame.
Speaking on her retirement, Robinson said: “It has been a joy and privilege to work for Diageo in the Scotch whisky industry for so many years, and to share my time with so many talented people here in Scotland and around the world. I will always cherish the amazing opportunities and experiences to travel and meet people that Scotch whisky has allowed me and although I am stepping back from the frontline, I will continue to offer my support and encouragement to colleagues in any way I can in the future.”
There has been an outpouring of love for Maureen from the industry. Many of her peers and industry leaders have been singing her praises from over the years.
Diageo President for Supply Chain and Procurement, Ewan Andrew, spoke on Robinson’s impact: “Since the 1970s Maureen Robinson has been blazing a trail in our business and the wider industry, breaking down barriers for other women to follow in her pioneering footsteps. Her unstinting dedication to quality in her work, and her generosity in sharing her knowledge with others, is an inspiration to us all. Everyone at Diageo is proud of Maureen and everything she has achieved in her remarkable career, and we will all seek to continue the wonderful legacy she has built for our brands and our business.”
Robinson is said to have passed her blending notes to Diageo malts archivist Jo McKerchar, so that future generations will be able to learn from her workings.
McKerchar said the following on Robinson’s career: “The breadth and depth of Maureen’s contribution to our whisky brands has been truly remarkable, and we are honoured to take stewardship of her legacy. Our Archive is rich with notebooks and bottles created by the great master blenders of the past 200 years, and Maureen’s contribution will be celebrated alongside the legends of the industry.”