18 November 2010

Whisky Insiders Interview - John MacDonald

Balblair Distillery

Distillery Manager


How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
I started as a warehouseman at Glenmorangie then became mill-man, mash-man, still-man, assistant manager then Balblair manager August 2006.

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Becoming Balblair Manager, dream job. Beautiful distillery, great whisky, terrific staff and a fine company to work for.

Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
It was one of Glenmorangie’s blends, Highland Queen. First malt I tried was Glenmorangie 10 year old. I haven’t drunk many blends since!

What does whisky mean to you?
Whisky is my work and also my passion. I consider myself very lucky to be in this industry. It is unique especially at production level. Everyone talks and shares information. It has always been my drink of choice and I don’t see that changing.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
Exactly where I am right now.

What was your last dram?
My last dram was the latest Balblair vintage 2000 – wonderful. Fresh fruity and satisfying.

Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
I am a massive seafood fan. If I had to choose it would probably be a plate of scallops.

What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
As long as I was in good company with good whisky – anytime, anywhere!

What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
Hard to say but hope quality is maintained. This industry prides itself on quality and would be sad to see that fall.

What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
Any Balblair!!!!!!

Many thanks to John MacDonald. Who will be the next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!