Inspirational Whisky Women for Int’l Women’s Day

This Friday, I am asking all of you to do just one thing: raise a dram to an inspiring woman in your life.

You see, it’s International Women’s Day – the one day of the year where all women get celebrated in all of their glory and during which more awareness is raised by global charities (such as the fantastic The Girl Effect) about the disparity still faced by young girls and women in all countries.

In honour of the day, I went to the whisky world to ask some of the fantastic Whisky Women two simple questions: what whisky inspires you and what woman inspires you?

The responses have been inspirational and I have had so many I want to share that the piece will be spread over two parts.

I hope the stories and responses below hit a chord with you. Be sure to read to the end to find out about a great competition with Bowmore to celebrate!


Angela D’Orazio: Master Blender, Mackmyra Swedish Whisky:

So many! Most of the time I fall in love with single cask of whisky. Last week, I found a bunch of wonderful 1st-fill 3 year-old smoky quarter casks here in the Bodås mine. Oh my god! Then there is Bruichladdich, Kilchoman, Ardbeg, an older Tomintoul and Glengarioch – rich in aromas and style with great fruitiness. Or Compass Box, Penderyn, Amrut… but the list is long.

Inspiring or not, women in the business are few. Martine Nouet is an inspiration with her lovely food pairings. A pioneering whisky lady of the past, Bessie Williamson at Laphroaig, must have been a strong business woman at times when there were even fewer woman than today.

Outside of the business it’s easier: the late Nina Simone [...]

Return of whisky Monkey business

Dean Callan, Monkey Shoulder's global brand ambassador, speaks to me about the company's plans for 2013.

Dr Nick Morgan discusses Talisker Storm whisky

Talisker Storm - the new NAS whisky from the Isle of Skye distillery.
February 27th, 2013|Features, Interviews|2 Comments|

Life in The Capital with Cesar Da Silva

People who work in the whisky industry are generally very proud of what they do. From the master distillers to master blenders, brand ambassadors and sales teams, everyone employed in this business tends to be in it because they love the spirit.

But one of the proudest people I have met of late has to be Cesar Da Silva, who heads up the bar at The Capital hotel in Knightsbridge, which offers a mixture of between 60-70 rare old bottlings and standard whiskies to its guests. For the past 17 years, Cesar has been living and breathing whisky and – during a recent interview – he showed no signs of changing that trajectory.

Cesar is well known within the whisky industry for being the youngest ever person to be initiated as a Keeper of the Quaich – the society that recognises those individuals who are dedicated to promoting the heritage and quality of Scotch. When we met at the bar, the badge he received in honour of it was clearly displayed on his jacket lapel.

“For whisky and the trade, it is my proudest achievement. When I got the notice, I did not have words to say. I was really proud but I was also very respectful of the industry inviting me,” he said, saying this honour even beat winning the Campari Bartender of the Year award in 2004.

I visited The Capital to speak to Cesar because it was one of those places I’d not come across very frequently during my whisky journey.  I was, therefore, keen to learn about the man behind the bar.

Cesar’s story begins nearly 20 years ago, when he first came to London as a 17-year old in 1996, after leaving his home [...]

February 13th, 2013|Features, Interviews|0 Comments|

Gaining Pace: Lady of the Glen

I speak to Gregor Hannah, founder of new independent whisky bottler, Lady of the Glen.
January 17th, 2013|Features, Interviews|1 Comment|

The Queen of Victoria’s Whisky Festivals

I find out the history of the Victoria Whisky Festival in this interview with founder Iain Hooey.

The Whisky Lounge: Celebrating 10 years

I speak to The Whisky Lounge's Eddie Ludlow ahead of the company's 10th anniversary.
October 4th, 2012|Features, Interviews|1 Comment|

A grand Whisky Opus

Dominic Roskrow discusses his latest book, Whisky Opus

A five decade legacy: David Stewart

David Stewart celebrates his 50th anniversary with William Grant & Sons.
September 3rd, 2012|Features, Interviews|1 Comment|

Ian Buxton on whisky, writing and investment

Whisky writer Ian Buxton speaks to Miss Whisky about his new book and life in the industry.