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14 June 2021

109th Whisky Insiders Interview - Gary Haggart



Company:
The Lindores Distilling Co Ltd

Job:
Distillery Manager

Website:




How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
I originally started with United Distillers at Dewars Of Perth, Inveralmond in July 1991. I stayed with what became Diageo until August 2011, before moving into oil and gas for just over five and half years. I then started my role here at Lindores Abbey Distillery, so in total I am coming up for 25 years in the industry.
 
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Helping relative newcomers to the industry and across our business, to produce a single malt whisky and develop a brand worthy of the Lindores name.
 
Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
I think it was probably Johnnie Walker Black Label or maybe even a rusty nail, during winter league at Blair Atholl Golf Club. With the ball bouncing off a rock hard fairway and no feeling in your hands, it normally led to a few of the more senior players producing a “hippy” and a “get that down you son!”. It was a great feeling as it ignited a glow in you and put a few extra yards on your drive.
 
What does whisky mean to you?
It’s a product that has shaped me as a person and has become an integral part of who I am!
 
Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?

In the warehouse wishing my time away trying to make some casks mature faster or be older than they actually are.
 
What was your last dram?
It was a Cameronbridge 22 Year Old Single Grain. I have an absolute soft spot for well-aged single grain whiskies, and it was whilst watching a 50 Year Old man become the oldest winner of a Major Golf tournament. Whisky and memorable events are interlinked through all stages of our lives.

Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
Yes, Cragganmore and smoked Bavarian cheese with a few oatcakes. I could make a fool of myself drinking and eating that all night but I find they both compliment themselves so well.
 
What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
Always at night and always with friends and family. For me whisky is a sharing drink, a time to converse and a time to relax.
 
What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
I honestly do not know, as its hard to keep up with the trends and changes. I think we might soon go into a “state of calm” where we just let everything settle down and make the best product we can within what we can and cannot do. It’s that fine balance between innovation and tradition!
 
What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
At the moment Glenfarclas 15 Year Old, but I have my eye on some Lindores Casks that were filled with our spirit. These casks had Pineau De Charentes in them for over 40 years and they are secreting what can only be called nectar. I just hope the spirit and the cask find a harmony because I so want the matured product to be good!
 
Many thanks to Gary Haggart. Who will be our next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!