Ballantine's has appointed a new master blender.

The Pernod Ricard-owned Scotch whisky brand announced today (2 October) that Sandy Hyslop will assume the position, becoming only the fifth master blender in the company's 175-year history. Hyslop replaces Robert Hicks, who has held the position since 1994.

Having started in the whisky industry in 1983 as a quality controller in Dundee, Hyslop began an apprenticeship under Ballantine's master blender, Jack Goudy in 1992. He was subsequently appointed blender at the Ballantine's headquarters in Dumbarton in 1995.

"It's a huge honour to join the long and distinguished line of Ballantine's master blenders before me," said Hyslop. "George Ballantine's knowledge of blending has been handed down from generation to generation and I'm proud to be the next master blender responsible for upholding the heritage and traditions associated with the range.

The Ballantine's range, which includes Ballantine's Finest and four aged whiskies of between 12- and 30-years-old, sells around 5.3m nine-litre cases a year.