“The more women getting involved the better. We need to shake the male dominated stereotype of the whisky industry.” – Julie Hamilton
Julie Hamilton is a founding member of Glasgow’s Whisky Club, a successful tasting group that has been run for seven years.
In this Whisky Women interview, she speaks about which drams hit the spot, the importance of social media in the whisky community and her favourite memories of imbibing.
How did you first get into whisky?
I started drinking blended whisky in my early twenties and dabbled with the odd malt here and there. I developed an appreciation for malts when we started Glasgow’s Whisky Club.
The Club has been going for seven years now – did you expect it to become so established?
We had no idea it would grow to be the club it is now! We started with around seven or eight of us just getting together once a month for a dram or two. We’ve got a membership of around 75 now with a waiting list to join every year, and run mid-month tastings as well as our club nights on the first Tuesday each month.
What has been one of the best things about being a part of Glasgow’s Whisky Club?
I guess meeting loads of great people – it’s great to get together with like-minded souls at least once or twice a month!
What is one of your favourite whiskies?
This varies with what I’ve been tasting in a week – my favourite changes regularly! A constant though would have to be Glentauchers – a nice light Speyside not usually seen as a single malt, that’s more often a component part of a blend. I also love the other extreme in Ardbeg. A varying taste.
What do you think Glasgow’s Whisky Club has brought to the whisky scene?
I think the Club offers a down to earth, informal approach. All too often clubs are quite stuffy and uptight. Our approach is to encourage everyone to enjoy whisky irrespective of their level of knowledge or taste. All are welcome!
Do you think the online whisky community is a help or hindrance to the world of whisky?
I think it’s a huge help! I network with whisky enthusiasts all over the world via Facebook, blogs, Twitter etc that I wouldn’t have access to otherwise. It’s a great medium for sharing information on whiskies either old or new, finding out about events and new places to visit as well as hearing about other people’s experiences and opinions.
Do you feel more women should or could be involved in the whisky industry/running clubs?
Absolutely! The more women getting involved the better. We need to shake the male dominated stereotype of the whisky industry. There’s lots of us already.
Why would you recommend someone who’s never tried a good single malt to give it a go?
Because there’s a whisky for everybody – the fun is in finding the one that’s for you!
What is your favourite memory of whisky drinking?
My first ever Whisky Fringe in Edinburgh – I had never attended a festival or event before and it was truly a magical experience; I was just like a kid in a huge sweetie shop. I now go to as many events as I can manage in a year.