The Edrington Group's master blender, John Ramsay, is to retire, the Scotch whisky group has announced.

Ramsay, who will step down on 31 July, will be replaced by Gordon Motion, who has worked as master blender designate at Edrington since March 2007 as part of a handover process, the firm said today (15 July).

Since joining Edrington in 1991, Ramsay has overseen the group's whisky brands, including The Famous Grouse, The Macallan and Highland Park, checking up to 600 samples per day.

Ramsay said: ""Looking back there are a number of highlights that really stand out, from creating Highland Park 18, 25 and most recently 40 year old expressions and moving The Glenrothes whisky to a vintage."

Motion has been with Edrington since 1998, when he joined as its whisky quality technologist.

Earlier this month, Edrington reported a 44% rise in net sales and a 30% leap in pre-tax profits for its fiscal full-year.