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Glengoyne Interviews Gordon Dundas, International Brand Ambassador

Glengoyne  Interviews Gordon, Dundas, International Brand Ambassador

Posted on 29 May 2019 by Glengoyne Distillery

It was in 2017 that Gordon joined Glengoyne as International Brand Ambassador and since then, has globe-trotted his way over 50 countries hosting masterclasses, attending whisky festivals and not forgetting the many drams that he has shared and enjoyed along the way.

 

Find Gordon at your favourite whisky festival, on social media and more about him here.

 

Tell us about yourself and what the role of International Brand Ambassador entails?

 

Firstly, let me be clear, it is a great job that entails lots of travel as we take Glengoyne around the world. Whisky is an international business, so the responsibility of education also is a vast one, covering all types of whisky drinkers globally. Single malt is a particularly complex category with infinite amounts of information to be shared, especially with the diversity of products on the market and not just those from Scotland. I have been lucky enough to represent not just Scotch and Glengoyne but also whiskies from the USA, Canada, Japan and Ireland, which gives me a deep understanding of the market and the consumer. I love working for Ian Macleod Distillers as it represents something which is rare in the industry, a family-owned Scottish independent whisky business.

 

What made you get into the whisky industry?

 

I had always liked whisky, which is an essential starting place. I was looking to change my career so I managed to get a job working for Whisky Magazine as a Sales Manager, which evolved into developing and selling the concept of the Whisky Live shows around the world. Working with Whisky Magazine, you get a fantastic view of the industry and the chance to meet some wonderful people. Ultimately, I was keen to work for a whisky producer and managed to secure a role with Morrison Bowmore Distillers and moved to Ian Macleod Distillers and Glengoyne in 2017.

 

What do you enjoy most about your role?

 

Well, it's certainly not a 9-5 role. I like the variety of tasks, enjoy travelling, the opportunity to influence, educate and create advocates for our fantastic whisky. I have met people in the most far flung parts of the world who talk passionately about their love for Glengoyne.  I also love bringing people to Glengoyne Distillery for the first time, witnessing their reactions - they are in awe and just love the experience there.

I enjoy meeting people and understanding what, for them, makes whisky special. Everyone is different, and that applies to their view of whisky. It is not a ‘one fits all’ solution, which is why the role is so diverse.

 

In the 15 years you have been in the industry what significant changes have you noticed?

 

Generally, I think many more people understand whisky as there are many great individuals working hard to educate in that area. Also, there are some excellent whisky websites to visit and learn from, as well as others that are not so good. However, I think the most significant change is the widening appeal of whisky in general. Whether young or old, male or female who drink their whisky straight, with ice or in a cocktail, we are getting there with saying whisky is for everyone.

 

Tell us about Glengoyne – what makes it different?

 

Well, there are many things of course. Location wise, it is the only distillery to span two whisky-producing regions – with the stillhouse being in the Highlands and the warehouses across the road in the Lowlands. It does, however, make no difference to the whisky. What does make a difference is heating our stills slowly, simmering if you like, which helps us deliver our beautifully fruity new-make spirit. We then fill that spirit into the finest casks, the part of the whisky-making process with the greatest impact on the final flavour. With Glengoyne, all of the colour and at least 60% of the flavour comes from the oak – so quality spirit and quality oak creates great whisky. Age alone does not make great whisky, unless you use the finest spirit and casks like we do at Glengoyne. Throughout the Glengoyne range of expressions there are sherry casks used and, of course, Glengoyne always has and always will have natural colour.

 

If it is at all possible, what’s your favourite Glengoyne and why?

 

It totally depends how I feel but at the moment, it is the 18yo as it leads me into the higher aged, rich sherry style of the older Glengoyne’s, yet still retains great balance between the cask flavours and the house style… ask me again and it will probably have changed.