02 May Famous For A Reason – A Wee Dram With Jamie Morrison
Whisky is made from simple ingredients – water, barley and yeast. Great whisky needs something extra, and that’s skill.
Similarly, the ingredients that go into The Famous Grouse Experience are: a great location, a spectacular product and a long heritage. It’s only when you add that special ingredient – the staff – that it becomes the award-winning attraction it is.
Jamie Morrison, Senior Visitor Experience Assistant, is a customer favourite when it comes to our distillery tours. And that’s because he can’t disguise his enthusiasm, both for whisky and for the unique way we make it.
“I’ve always been interested in whisky,” says Jamie. “When my friends were drinking rum and vodka I was always interested in the range of whiskies there were and the different aromas and flavours that come with whisky.” So when he met our General Manager by chance in a restaurant and learned that The Famous Grouse Experience was looking for visitor experience hosts, it made sense for Jamie to apply.
Jamie’s degree is in teacher training but he knew when he graduated from University that he didn’t want to be a teacher. As it turns out, he is using his teacher training skills, just in a very different way, and he knows a few tricks about holding people’s attention.
“I’m a bit of a storyteller when I’m leading tours. I tend to be quite humorous because I know that keeps people interested. And I can stand up in front of groups of any size and hold their attention for as long as I’m needed. I’m as happy speaking to Pablo from Paraguay as I am Susan from Stirling.” (The fact that Jamie also studied Spanish helps with those South American visitors too!)
What’s the best bit about your job? “Meeting people from all over the world. We’re a relatively small operation but we have a big reach. You realise that when you’re comparing whisky notes with people from Algeria and Israel.”
Tell us a tale from a tour. “I was leading a tour and we were at the point where you visit the mash tuns where the hand mashing is done. There were three men working there: one controlling the water, another the temperature and another doing the mashing. This chap on the tour looked around and said ‘Son, where do you make the whisky?’ I said, ‘Um, here.’ He seemed to think it was all for show. He didn’t realise this was a working distillery!”
What do you love about working at The Famous Grouse Experience? “I love the attitude of the team here and what they’re trying to achieve. And I love that everything is done by hand. I’m a secret eco warrior so I love things that are handcrafted.”
What’s your favourite dram? “For everyday drinking it’s The Naked Grouse. It’s beautifully smooth and really quite sweet with a long lasting flavour. You can drink it when you’re relaxing at the end of the day and it’s also good to pair with desserts, which I have a particular fondness for.”
If this wee chat with Jamie has whetted your appetite for a rich and flavoursome dram, then visit our Online Shop and find our Dram of the Month, The Famous Grouse Mellow Gold, a whisky that has been matured in sherry and bourbon casks to deliver a smooth, well rounded dram.
Do you know somebody who’s Famous for a Reason? It could be anything, big or small, but they have to be deserving of their Famous title, just as Matthew Gloag was. Nominate them here and they could win their very own personalised bottle of The Famous Grouse.