15 Aug Famous For A Reason – A Wee Dram With Lucy Whitehall
It says a lot when someone has a word invented just for them. That’s what has happened with Lucy Whitehall, our Global Brand Ambassador.
She’s also known as our Drammolier™, a term we crafted to capture the spirit of her role as the ultimate champion of whisky. Lucy literally lives and breathes her job. And tastes it, and noses it.
“It’s all about spreading the word, educating people about whisky, and advocating the brand,” says Lucy, who travels abroad with her whisky message, to whisky festivals in Eastern Europe, the Nordic countries and as far away as Dubai.
It’s also her job to do training sessions for staff, to do pairing events with suggestions of whisky and food pairings, and to take part in press trips.
Lucy joined The Famous Grouse Experience at Glenturret Distillery aged 18 as a part-time tour guide. At the time she was studying animation and electronic media at Dundee University. After graduating and traveling for a while, she took a job with the distillery full-time. It wasn’t long before she was made Global Brand Ambassador for The Famous Grouse at the age of 25.
Since then Lucy, now 28, has put her stamp on the distillery in lots of ways, not least by helping us renovate our Blending Experience room to become a multi-functional space. As a young woman working in a male-dominated industry, she is also making her mark in a wider sense. Now, though, “women working in whisky are a lot more commonplace,” says Lucy. “The conversations now tend to be about younger people. It’s becoming cool to pick up a single malt and I think there is a lot more room for bringing in younger talent to the industry.”
What’s the best bit about your job? “I love all the processes and time and effort that goes into whisky making, and it’s so interesting and diverse. You can have somebody who’s young and mixing and experimenting, then you get a guy who’s maybe worked here for 40+ years and seen traditions passed down across generations. Then you have the really technical guys like the master blenders and the bottlers.”
What’s the worst bit about your job? “I wouldn’t say there’s anything bad about my job, but one of the more challenging and frustrating elements is the preconceptions people have about blends versus single malts. Rather than appreciating both of them, they pit them against each other, despite the fact that they are two different products. You’ll find people saying single malts are better than blends. When you look at the massive amount of work that’s done to produce a high quality, consistent blended whisky, it’s astounding. It upsets me when I hear people say ‘It’s just a blend’.”
What do you love about The Famous Grouse Experience? “This is where I’ve done a lot of my growing up. I’m not ashamed to admit it’s probably my second home. I’m pretty comfortable here. It’s very much a friendly environment and not only is it such a beautiful location but there’s the heritage and that hand-made feel that you don’t necessarily get at every distillery you go to.”
What’s your favourite dram? “I love The Famous Grouse Smoky Black paired with a nice 70% dark cocoa. I love smoky flavours like smoked cheeses and smoked salmon. Smoky Black is such a beautiful whisky and it’s so affordable.”
If this wee chat with Lucy 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 Smoky Black, a whisky that blends more peated malt whiskies, including a rare version of Glenturret. With exceptional grains for a rich, lightly smoky and smooth flavour.