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.