HN: How do you match food with The Balvenie whisky?
AG: I’ve always said that matching whisky and food should be about matching intensity. If you’ve got a really rich dish, you want something bold like the DoubleWood 17 to stand up to it. Equally, if you have something very sweet, it can be nice to have something with a bit of spice or freshness like the Caribbean Cask 14 to cut through and liven up the palate.
HN: How has the whisky world changed in terms of male/female balance?
AG: Women have always drunk (and made, and marketed, and sold!) whisky – it’s just that for a long time, it was marketed as being a ‘man’s drink’. That thread of thought still persists in our society and around the world, but it is lessening. The more you see whisky presented in different ways – alongside food, or in a cocktail, for instance – the more you’ll widen the base of consumer that it appeals to. We’ve got a way to go in many countries, but it’s definitely changing.
HN: Has being female held you back?
AG: Not in the whisky world, it hasn’t. I’d say that being female in this industry hasn’t held me back any more than it would have in any industry. Many women face similar challenges in the workplace regardless of their skillset, knowledge, seniority or enthusiasm. Yes, I’ve heard more times than I can count from consumers around the world that it’s ‘strange that a young female would like whisky’ but you learn to ask questions back, to explore why people have that opinion so that you can help to better understand it and hopefully widen people’s viewpoints. The whisky industry, however, has always been very welcoming and encouraging since I’ve been involved in it.
Watch series on YouTube here, which features the following episodes:
- Michel Roux Jr. meets John Evans, Maltman at The Balvenie
- Michel Roux Jr. meets George Singer, Coppersmith at The Balvenie
- Michel Roux Jr. meets Kelsey McKechnie, Whisky Technologist at The Balvenie
- The Craftsmen’s Dinner at The Balvenie House
Has this inspired a trip around Scotland? Why not try a full-day scotch tour in Edinburgh or even a 4 day whisky tasting tour around Scotland? Oh and while you’re there, see if you can seek out some of the most haunted distilleries.