Yes, Ian Logan is going to be back at the FNB Whisky Live Festival this year! Why does that excite me so much? Well simply put, it is always good fun chatting to Ian. Full of stories and adventures, he does a great job in conveying his passion about whisky, and The Glenlivet, to those around him.
WTF: Hi Ian, can you give my readers a bit of a background on yourself and The Glenlivet?
IL: I am 45 years old and living in Elgin in the NE of Scotland, perfectly located in the heart of whisky country – Speyside. I joined Pernod Ricard in 1997 and have been working with The Glenlivet since 2001 when we bought Seagrams. Apart from a short period away in 2002-3 it has been a pleasure to have been involved with The Glenlivet over that period. My first contact was as a consumer pre 2001, then as a salesman until 2004 and then into my current role as International Brand Ambassador. Before joining Pernod Ricard I was also involved with whisky sales so it is now over 26 years since I sold my first case of whisky. Selling it, marketing it and on occasion making it with our Sma’ Still, what a fantastic job.
WTF: You’re no stranger to South Africa, what are your impressions of the country and its people?
IL: This year will be my sixth visit to South Africa and ranks as one of my favourite markets every year. To have seen the growth of Scotch Whisky and especially Single Malts such as The Glenlivet has been a wonderful experience. There is something new every time I visit and I am always made so welcome by everyone I meet. I belive in looking, listening and asking questions, in that way I am always learning.
WTF: More specifically, what is your take on Whisky Live SA and the SA whisky community?
IL: I tell people all over how the world about Whisky Live in SA, how exciting, busy and exhausting it can be but equally that all of these other countries have so much to live up to in the way they present whisky. The community in SA is growing and learning very quickly and very eager to know and understand more. This means I am always being asked new question but that is what makes it fun.
WTF: Which you be attending both the Soweto and Sandton legs of the festival?
IL: Sadly I will only be in Sandton this year, the team I am part of is incredibily busy at this time of year and we are all travelling at present. The week before I come to South Africa I will be in Canada, after returning home I have a week in the office before going to Taiwan, India and Korea!!!!
WTF: What will you & The Glenlivet be doing at Whisky Live?
IL: I will be spending as much time as possible on the stand chatting with the fans of The Glenlivet while at Whisky Live, I know I have a masterclass also and perhaps a surprise or two along the way.
WTF: Can you give us more info on the workshops you will be hosting at the Sandton leg?
IL: I don’t really want to go into too much detail on what I will be doing but suffice to say it will be something very different to previous masterclasses.
WTF: Which The Glenlivet whiskies will be available for visitors to the festival be able to taste?
IL: As always we will have The Glenlivet range available for tasting on the stand with something special when possible
WTF: And what about any of your more exclusive releases, like Alpha, etc?
IL: I’m not sure how much stock PRSA have left of Alpha due to its great success but it would be great to taste it and talk it over with guests.
WIN A BOTTLE OF THE GLENLIVET ALPHA!
You could win a bottle of The Glenlivet Alpha right here on the site! See this page for details. (Open to SA residents only)
WTF: How do lovers of The Glenlivet get to participate in the tastings associated with The Guardian’s Chapter Ian?
IL: My colleagues at Pernod Ricard South Africa will be organising the events so it would be best to get in contact that way. It would also pay to keep checking on www.theglenlivet.com for updates on new events and also through our Facebook page and the South African Facebook page.
WTF: Can we look forward to seeing you launching any new releases to the South African market while you are here?
IL: There are no plans to be launching anything brand new this year but as with all other whisky companies we are always developing our ranges so keep your eye out for something new. The Guardians Chapter is our real focus this year.
WTF: How closely do you work with your South African counterparts and how often are you in touch?
IL: The global marketing team and myself are in regular contact with our colleagues in South Africa, the country is one of the most vibrant and exciting whisky markets in the world, how could we not be a part of it. I speak to the team in South Africa quite often and stay in contact with the Brand Ambassadors in the country.
WTF: Thinking about your favourite drams, what stands out? What is it in a whisky that wins you over?
IL: I look for “balance” in my whiskies, how all the flavours integrate with each other. Single dominating flavours can sometimes hide the more subtle and delicate notes a whisky has to offer so my ideal whisky will be complex and smooth… The Glenlivet.
WTF: Following on from that, what is your favourite The Glenlivet whisky, and why?
IL: My all time favourite expression would be our 1964 Cellar Collection which I think is the best thing we have ever bottled but has now become very expensive indeed. From the standard range it is the 18yo which exhibits everything I talked about regarding complexity and balance.
WTF: An in conclusion, what is your favourite non-The Glenlivet whisky and why?
IL: I have a soft spot for Scapa, just so different from any other island malt, a great dram for just relaxing and chilling out with. There are so many great whiskies out there it is very difficult to list, so much depends on mood, location and the company at the time.
Thanks for the chat Ian! SA is looking forward to having you. Pre-festival drinks same place, same time? 🙂
To see when Ian is presenting his workshop, go to the 2013 Whisky Live SA Workshops page.