During last Bar Covent in Berlin, we had the opportunity to speak with Deborah Stewart, Director of International Sales for the Glenfarclas brand. From her we got some valuable tips for using whiskey and the answer to the question of how to start working in such a company. Find out about whether all distilleries cooperate with each other or prefer to work independently, separate from all others, in the text below.
So for me, I started working for whiskey at the age of 18. Where I came from, it was the best job for me for my summer holidays to be a tour guide in the distillery. And so, I’ve worked as a tour guide and I find it really interesting. I found this story interesting. I found the production interesting and it’s just grown and grown from there.
Before 18 not, but at 18 is OK.
Genuinely, it was more for convenience to start with. But once I started working, my first job was working for Glenfiddich and there was a lovely gentleman there whose name is David Stewart now, no relation, although I did ask him if he would be my adopted dad and he said what would your old dad think? But it was just quite fun because my badge said Deborah Stewart and I used to talk about him. He was the master blender, so he was a very, very interesting gentleman. I learned a lot from him.
Ohh, very much so. Yes. At the end of the day when it comes to whiskey, we still sell some of what we make to other companies for blending and they are always very happy to have our product as well, so for this reason, we know everyone. But also, within this community of Brad Ambassadors, it’s not my real job, it’s one of my jobs. But we have a community there as well. We are all going through the same things. We’re traveling, so we’re very sociable people.
The fact it’s still independent, it’s still family owned. It’s been owned by the same family for 157 years now, with a fifth generation charge. But that has led to decisions being made which guarantee the quality of our whiskey, which make it a bit different from others. The two most important things in terms of whiskey production are the fact we only use sherry casks. Not up to four times. And the fact that we still direct fire our stills. So that gives us a really heavy, full-bodied and almost slightly caramelized spirit.
Farklas is a very classic brand, so we don’t really have such a big problem there. And I think that while rum is maybe quite trendy in terms of cocktails and everything else, there will always be a market for good single malts.
It depends on the day, and it depends on the budget. So, for everyday drinking, you can’t go wrong with a 15-year-old if you ask me.
This is something our friends in Germany asked us to make for them, so they’ve been making this one for quite a few years already. So all the casks always come from December. In the early days they came from. And we let them have the week before Christmas holidays, so we can’t build them quite so late anymore. But the cast will always be from December.
Sadly, it’s not my market. My colleague Ian looks after Croatia and the neighboring countries, but I know it’s somewhere that he has. Spent some time in that part of the world and he appreciated it highly.
So our favorite whiskey in our range, where we can, is the 105, which is our cask strength and we say, that why make a cocktail with a really light whiskey and you don’t know what it is. If you make it with glenfarclas 105 you will know. That’s a real good whiskey in there. Personally, I find it works really well for old fashioned.
Something extra that we didn’t mention and you want to say.
No, I think you covered the most important part.
Thank you dear Deborah.