Blog: Olly WehringCoffee, beer, rum, Scotch – all in a day's work

Olly Wehring | 21 July 2010

On paper, it looked like an excellent plan. If I was going to be in London for one meeting, why not arrange more, and fill the day?

I'm paying for it today.

First up yesterday morning was a coffee with David Hume, brand communications director at William Grant.

David was most excited about the firm's purchase of C&C Group's spirits and liqueurs earlier this year. Of the additions to William Grant's stable, he's hoping for great things from Tullamore Dew, so watch this space. Also, he and I are looking to nail down CEO Stella David for an interview next month. Get your questions in now.

Next, lunch with the communications manager at Carlsberg UK, Adam Withrington.

Once a peer of mine, Adam has turned gamekeeper after spending his formative years writing for The Publican.

He appears to be enjoying life on the other side of the fence. My favourite of his stories since turning to the dark side is when it came to checking the spelling on some Carlsberg 'phonebox posters for the World Cup: Cape Town is 6,000 miles in that direction, while Cock (sic) was only 250 metres in that direction.

The Cock.

After lunch, off to say hello to Joy Spence, the master distiller at Appleton Estate in Jamaica.

Joy is in the UK for a week and it was good to see her again, the last time being in Kingston five years ago. She was most complimentary about the just-drinks redesign so, Joy, I apologise if my hug was too tight.

Finally, a whisky tasting and dinner with one of the more colourful characters in the Scotch industry, Ardbeg's brand ambassador, Bill Lumsden.

We were taken through the Ardbeg range – one of my favourite whiskies – and Bill was his usual informative self. The highlight of the six Islay single malts was Corryvreckan, named after a whirlpool – the world's second-largest - just off the Scottish mainland. I'm proud to say I got the better of Bill's expertise. I mean, do you know if they measure whirlpools by depth or diameter?


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