After a career as a chef, working at top restaurants in London, a serious accident in 2013 – I was knocked off a scooter by a drunk driver while on holiday in Turkey – left me hospitalised for six weeks and with a body full of metal. As I recovered, I found I was unable to stand for long periods and no longer had the dexterity in my hands and wrists needed in a professional kitchen, so in 2014 I made the decision to hang up my apron and throw myself into the wonderful world of Blackadder.
I feel there must be some irony in that somewhere! Not to mention my father was around the same age as me when he began his whisky journey.
As you can imagine, I grew up around whisky and since my late teens I’ve enjoyed the odd dram! Since joining the company, I have taken a keen interest in the process and history of distillation and the magic that occurs between spirit and cask.
I think that all my years of working in kitchens and the aromas and flavours I’ve experienced in doing so have given me a keen sense for nosing and tasting whiskies. However, I like to keep things simple. I don’t make fanciful, long-winded tasting notes; instead, I try to encapsulate nose, taste and finish as concisely as possible – nothing more, nothing less.
Our sense of smell is the most direct sense to our brain and also our most complex. It’s proven that once you go over three aroma compounds mixed together, everything is subjective and becomes very personal.
Every aroma can evoke a different memory in each of us and we build up our aroma library as we grow. By not being afraid to say what we sense and share it, we can all learn something from each other.
My main belief is that whisky is subjective and, ultimately, if you enjoy what you are experiencing, you are having a dram good day!
Looking forward to the future.