I began working in the industry in 2015, my first role was as a tour guide at The Glenturret, I laterally became Assistant Visitor Attraction Manager and found myself enjoying the ambassadorial aspects of my role. When the company was evolving under our new ownership in 2018/19 there was an identified need for a brand ambassador and luckily my skillset and experience suited the role well, I applied and well, the rest is history.
If I can be cheeky and describe two…. Firstly, working as part of an amazing team of highly skilled people to relaunch the brand onto the world stage in 2020 was incredible. The hard work and dedication we all put in to transitioning into the brand we are today was a great experience to be part of. Secondly, this year I was asked to be a mentor as part of the Our Whisky Foundation, which aims to empower more women into our industry. I was very humbled to have been asked to share my experiences and help someone else on their journey into our industry. I think that’s the best thing we can do, this industry in my opinion, is all about sharing practice and of a very collaborative nature.
I remember it like it was yesterday, I was in a local bar with friends where I grew up in Falkirk. I was always intrigued by the plethora of whisky bottles and labels. One night I decided to ask what was in that green bottle there that someone ordered. It was Laphroaig 10 Years Old and I must admit, first sip I was like wow this is intense, second sip I began to think oh wait I like this. Whilst my peer group were into vodka and cocktails, I was honing my experience of single malt, I never looked back. Although I do enjoy a cocktail these days, not always whisky either!
Tough question, whisky to me means sharing, it’s about social occasions. Whether that’s sharing a very rare dram with close friends and family at my wedding or celebrating someone’s life with a toast of their favourite whisky. It brings people together; whisky is also fundamental not only to the economy but our history as a country. Whisky has afforded me many amazing experiences and I’m incredibly lucky to work in such a diverse, fascinating, friendly & exciting industry.
It’s no secret that I love my job, therefore, I’d hope that I would still be working in the whisky industry in some form. Perhaps in a different country, this is something that is part of my wife and I’s plan, so you never know….
My last dram was a sample of one of the whiskies from our new range for 2023 (coming soon). In my role I work closely with our whisky maker and often get a wee sneak peak of what is coming. It helps me to understand the liquid and then be able to talk confidently about it with our consumers. It was a rather lovely sample too!
I do love a whisky and food pairing. I’d say one of my most frequent go to would be The Glenturret Triple Wood paired with lemon meringue pie. It’s a winner. Alternatively, I love a smoky whisky with roasted nuts or a bit of charcuterie.
Another tough one, hmm favourite time is hard as it can depend entirely on where I am or what I’m doing. If pushed, I’d probably say mid-afternoon in the sun somewhere. I reckon my favourite place I’ve enjoyed a dram was the first time I was sitting on the balcony with my father-in-law at their place in Hyderabad India. It was a special moment for me.
I think the continuing evolution of more gender equality in the industry will hopefully keep going. The industry has made some great steps forward in this area and long may that continue. Another thing is the innovation in sustainability which will become more and more significant. From packaging to use of stock and distilling processes there is so much that can be done and that’s exciting.
I’m going to say The Glenturret Peat Smoked 7 Year Old. It is everything I want from a dram, its delicately smoky with a tinge of sweetness and relates to the character of our spirit DNA well. It's my go to since its release last year and it is the one I keep coming back to time and time again.