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Whisky Ambassadors and Their Secrets

Up until a couple of years ago I was totally indifferent towards the Whisky industry. Perhaps a science I didn't understand, nor wanted to understand. A facsimile to this would be Star Trek, either you get it or you don't. However, a trip to the Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay soon changed all that. Unlike Star Trek, I discovered that whisky making was an art and skill learned through generations.

It is also a multi-faceted industry, impossible to break down the complexities of the distillation process in one conversation. However, in a recent episode of the MenswearStyle podcast we approached some whiskies biggest ambassadors, notably Colin Dunn of Johnnie Walker who spilled the beans on his own personal preference stating; “Johnnie Walker Blue. I didn't really get it at first. Then I met the Master Blender Jim Beverage and he told me to give it time with the nose, palate and after taste. Like a good book the liquid has structure and balance. Just allow it in your mouth for 10-15 seconds. Jim takes forever and a day choosing the right casks to go into the blend. 1 in 10,000 casks he puts aside, matures it, and then blends it with other single malts. So, Blue Label is my go to. In the hands of the right mixologist, Blue Label in a cocktail has been an absolute phenomenon for me.”

Colin Dunn
Colin Dunn

We then sat down with Ewan Gunn from Haig Club and asked him to distill (pardon the pun) what he loves about whisky and what it's like to work alongside David Beckham. He explains how “David is a partner in the brand and is very committed. He’s given a lot of time and energy to this project and he loves working with the Haig Club becoming a fan of scotch whisky. I see him every other couple of months and David has been to every launch market. He's also very charming, takes the time to explain the flavours to people. People pay attention to Becks. We have a great liquid, but combine it with David's charisma and it's a highly sellable product.”

Greg Dillon
Greg Dillon

We finally sought the counsel of Greg Dillon the Editor of popular Whisky blog Great Drams who gave us a crash course lesson in the significance of Peat in Whisky. He describes how “Peated is a lot more flexible and fun nowadays. The use of the Ardbeck and the Laphroaig 10 in cocktails has broken down barriers. It's removed the fear of drinking a heavily Peated whisky, unless it's Bruichladdich Octomore which is like chewing on a Peated brick.”  

Visit the MenswearStyle Podcast to listen to this show in full. Let us know if you learn a thing or two and please do leave a review in iTunes to help spread the word.

Peter Brooker

Peter is a published author on men's style, writer for the Metro Online, a huge James Bond fanatic and the host of our very own MenswearStyle podcast show.

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