The Whisky Show attracts some of the whisky world's most sought-after guests, from writers to whisky makers and ambassadors.
Scotchwhisky.com was established in October 2015, and with seasoned booze writers Dave Broom and Richard Woodard also at the helm the website has been warmly welcomed by both industry and whisky enthusiasts alike.
As an expert on all distilled beverages, Becky is the former editor of The Spirits Business magazine, and has written for several high profile trade and consumer titles on both food and drink, including The Times, Restaurant, The Good Food Guide and Whisky Quarterly.
She is the only journalist to gain a General Certificate in Distillation with the Institute of Brewing and Distilling – a qualification usually reserved for distillery operators, and is regularly featured as a drinks expert by international media. She also regularly presents educational whisky seminars at global drinks shows including Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and The Whisky Show in London.
Bill Lumsden started working in the whisky industry on leaving university in the mid-1980s. After a further decade of training and working throughout whisky production he became distillery manager at Glenmorangie in 1995. In 1998 he became the Glenmorangie Company’s director of distilling, taking on responsibility for both Ardbeg and Glenmorangie distilleries, and the creation of new whiskies.
Known throughout the industry as one of Scotland’s most knowledgeable distillers, he has been picking up awards since taking on his current role, including most recently the International Spirits Challenge’s inaugural Master Blender/Distiller of the Year award in 2015.
Starting out at Irish Distillers in 1976 as a trainee accountant, Billy Leighton jumped at the chance to move into production. In 1988 he took on the role of vatting manager, where initially he oversaw the preparation of whiskey for bottling. Over time the role grew and he gradually took on responsibility for large amounts of the production process – blending, warehousing, maturation and even distilling.
Billy then became deputy chief blender and worked for a number of years with former Jameson master blender and industry legend, Dr Barry Walsh, before taking over the position himself when Barry retired in 2004. He is now responsible for the ongoing production of the Irish Distillers' range, carefully selecting casks to ensure that each whiskey maintains its famous character over time.
Originally trained as a lawyer, Charles has been an active advocate of Scotch whisky for more than thirty years as one of the industry’s first professional writers and consultants.
A writer with a passion for whisky history and the priceless ability to explain technical details and complex historical relationships in easy-to-read prose, Charles published The Pocket Guide to Scotch Whisky, a brilliantly-written guide for the lay consumer, in 1992. In the same year, he underwent comprehensive training in the sensory evaluation of potable spirits at the Scotch Whisky Research Institute and was elected a Keeper of the Quaich.
Charles’s recent titles include MacLean’s Whiskypedia and World Whisky, both published in 2009, the year he was elected a Master of the Quaich, the highest accolade in the whisky industry. He is also the Chairman of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s Tasting Panel and a specialist consultant to a host of whisky companies.
In his role as a Master, Charles has continued to evangelise, holding talks and tastings around the world, and was recently immortalised playing a character in tartan trousers not entirely dissimilar to himself in Ken Loach’s hit whisky comedy.
For over two decades Dave Broom has been a freelance writer covering a wide range of spirits, particularly whisky and rum.
He is Contributing Editor for Whisky Magazine and writes regular articles for its international sister publications, as well as for Whisky Advocate and a range of other specialist drinks magazines. Dave is also Chief Engineer for our news partner, Scotchwhisky.com, contributing regular articles and some of the finest tasting notes the world has ever seen.
A certified Malt Maniac since 2005, Dave has released a number of acclaimed books, including the award-winning Rum, Whisky: The Manual, and The World Atlas of Whisky.
David started work at Bowmore on 4 June 1990 – he was 16, arriving fresh out of school to work in the warehouses. Over the years David has worked in most parts of the distillery, from the malt barns and mash house, to becoming head distiller in 2006. In 2012 he was appointed distillery manager, the position he holds today.
If you visit the distillery you might bump into David helping out with distillery tours, which he still finds time for. He, like us at The Whisky Show, is a big fan of old Bowmore, with tropical fruit bombs from the 1950s and 1960s being special favourites.
Main image courtesy of Malt Imposter.
George started his career at Inver House Distillers and moved to Hong Kong to work for Glenfarclas's distributor there. He spends his time speaking about and presenting Glenfarclas to whisky lovers the world over.
George will be at the show to chat about his family's whiskies and maybe tell a few tales of life as a brand ambassador.
Ingvar started producing the Malt Whisky Yearbook in 2005 and the yearly release has become a fixture of the whisky calendar. The book is one of the most useful reference works for whisky fans, with profiles of all of the Scottish distilleries, as well as many others from around the world, and articles about the world of whisky from Ingvar and other well-known writers.
Michael Henry first became interested in the drinks industry whilst studying for his A-Levels, when he would brew his own beer at home. This interest in brewing combined with science background led Michael to complete Heriot Watt University’s respected brewing and distilling degree. He gained his first taste of distilling working at Bushmills Distillery while studying, before taking jobs at the Bass brewery in Belfast and Tennent’s brewery in Glasgow.
Michael returned to spirits when he moved to Loch Lomond Group in 2007, feeling he would have greater influence over the process of blending and creating whiskies at an independent distiller.
As a master blender at Loch Lomond, Michael's duties are wider than most whisky makers. He begins his day going over cooperage and distillery operations, with afternoons dedicated to the spirit: nosing, selecting casks and developing new whiskies. The wide range of styles of whisky created at the distillery mean that there's always something new to investigate.
Having previously worked in brewing, Michael’s technical understanding of flavour generation during fermentation has benefited him greatly in his whisky blending role at Loch Lomond. His experience has helped Loch Lomond Group become one of the most interesting producers in Scotland, and we look forward to welcoming him to The Whisky Show.
Shinji Fukuyo joined Suntory in 1984, at the age of 23. He transferred to the whisky blending department in 1992 and quickly rose through the ranks. After four years studying at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh he moved to work in the Morrison Bowmore team in 1999, creating whiskies for Bowmore, Glen Garioch and Auchentoshan.
He returned to Japan in 2006 as the director of the whisky blending department and in 2009 became chief blender for the whole of Suntory, only the fourth person to have held the prestigious position.
Stuart's professional life began at Clyde Cooperage in Glasgow, beginning his four year apprenticeship as a cooper. Moving with the cooperage to its new home at Lochwinnoch in the early eighties, Stuart completed his apprenticeship having acquired the necessary skills to be a fully-fledged cooper.
After a decade at the cooperage, Stuart became the Cooperage Manager, the role he currently holds. When Edrington chose to relocate the cooperage to the North British site at Addiewell in 2002, Stuart was integral to ensuring the smooth transition to the site.
Today Stuart overseas 16 production coopers, three apprentices and seven service coopers, based at Macallan's two cooperages in the production of oak casks, which are essential to the maturation of all Macallan. He is responsible for the day to day running of the cooperage, production planning and ensuring that the distillery receives casks that meet the exacting qiality standards.
In 2012, Stuart assumed the role of Master of Wood for Macallan. In this role, Stuart is the primary source of information on the Macallan's oak casks and the influence on the whiskies.
Stuart's role is detrimental to Macallan and the huge investment in these casks pays a dividend in the distinctive character of the final hisky, reckoned to account for some 60% of the final aromas and flavours of Macallan.