14 October 2022

117th Whisky Insiders Interview - Iain Allan

Glen Moray Distillery
Brand Ambassador

How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
I’ve been working in the whisky industry directly for a little over 20 years now, but prior to that I managed a wines and spirits shop in Aberdeen, where I focused on single malts - as they were my passion. So if I was to include that period it has been 24 years.
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
That’s a tough one as there has been so many, but I remember my first whisky festival (Whisky Live Glasgow 2004) and also my first International Festival (Interwhisky Frankfurt) where I knew I wanted to do this more often!
Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
First dram is a tough one as I was probably younger than I should have been. My dad always had single malt around the house and when he was enjoying I would have a wee nose and taste. The real “lightbulb moment” was a Balvenie I got for Christmas one year that I absolutely fell in love with.
What does whisky mean to you? 
Whisky has been such a big part of my adult life and it means so much, but if I had to pick one thing it has to be friendship. I have met and worked with so many amazing people in this industry that has led to long term friendships that mean so much to me.
Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time? 
What I love about working with Glen Moray and the parent group, La Martiniquaise/Bardinet, is that the role is always evolving and the opportunity to be a part of so many facets of the business keeps the job interesting. I hope in five years that this will have continued and I will have developed my understanding of how this great industry works.
What was your last dram? 
I have just returned from Germany where we took Glen Moray to Bar Convent Berlin (BCB) for the first time. The last dram I had whilst speaking to some whisky lovers was a Glen Moray Peated Classic. Being born and bred in Speyside peated whiskies always featured less often in my cabinet but occasionally its nice to mix it up a little!
Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
I love whisky and shellfish, but in particular I love the combo of oysters and a dram - and despite my last answer that’s when I love to reach for the peated stuff!
What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
With friends anytime and anywhere. I learned through lockdown that place and time are less important. During Covid I would have a Friday night catch up on zoom with friends and enjoy a dram and a chat. This would either be in my living room, kitchen or spare room and it meant a lot to have this when everything else wasn’t possible.
What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
The next Glen Moray releases!
What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
It has to be Glen Moray 18 Year Old. Quintessentially GM and also Speyside in character. One of those whiskies where keeping it simple means you get great results. Bourbon cask matured, bottled at higher abv and non-chill filtered….what’s not to love!
Many thanks to Iain Allan. Who will be our next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!