4 January 2012

Whisky Insiders Interview - Gerry Tosh

Highland Park

Global Marketing Manager


How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
I started in 1998 with Highland Distillers so by my maths…a long time.

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
I’ve been lucky enough to have quite a few but I guess from an industry point of view being awarded ‘Whisky Ambassador of the Year’ would be my most proud moment.

Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
Actually it was two whiskies. I had a Macallan 12 year old and a Dalwhinnie (I forget the age) in the Tilt hotel in Blair Atholl just after I beat my Dad at golf on Blair Atholl golf course.

What does whisky mean to you?
Whisky is the glue the sticks Scotland together. It’s there when you’re born, married, new job, with friends, Christmas, New Years, new child and it will be drunk when you’re gone. Not mine as I’m taking it with me.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
On the first tee at Augusta National golf course swapping stories with Jack Nicklaus.

What was your last dram?
I actually don’t know. The last whisky I had was out of a plastic bottle that I get on occasion from our whisky maker as homework and then write up my thoughts. It was bloody sensational I can tell you.

Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
I really enjoy whisky when we have a barbeque. But the best match is Highland Park 25 year old and real vanilla ice cream.

What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
Easy. Cliffs of Yesnaby on Orkney. When you stand there you know everything about Highland Park without even having to go to the distillery.

What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
I think I will be things like flavours. They do it with Rum, Vodka, Gin and Cognac. At some point somebody will do it properly with Scotch. Will it be big? Not sure but it will maybe give the category of whisky something to fight about.

What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
I know I’m biased but I’d struggle without the Highland Park 12 year old. It’s so versatile that it covers and complements all the moods, emotions and moments I could ever wish to drink whisky.

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