#Tastemakers: First experiences, drink trends, how to enjoy Glenfiddich with Struan Grant Ralph

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“Savour it. Take a selfie to document it. (Laughs).” So says Struan Grant Ralph, the Global Ambassador of Glenfiddich (pronounced with a guttural ‘K’ like “Glen-fi-dik”), when asked what he would tell his teenage self right before taking his accidental and virgin dram of whisky.

Struan was 13- or 14-years-old when he found himself with his father and some of his friends attempting to ascend all the highest peaks of The Monros, a tradition and popular pursuit among British and Scottish walkers and mountaineers. Atop one of these summits, above 3,000 feet, the men shared a flask of whisky and Crabbie’s Ginger, and eventually passed it to the youngest member of the group – Struan.

Struan’s journey with whisky began with tradition, and now, he’s at the forefront, sharing the heritage, integrity of Glenfiddich, and the traditions of the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky, all over the world.

This week, the professional chemist and Global Ambassador of Glenfiddich is in Kenya, one of the brand’s indentified exciting and emerging markets.

“Kenya has always been on my bucket list. It’s also my last trip of the year, so I’ll definitely enjoy it.”

Struan has been busy hosting bartender trainings, meeting some of Glenfiddich’s best consumers in the country, holding whisky tastings, and is expected to open a few bottles of Glenfiddich Excellence 26 Year Old Single Malt Whisky – a first in Kenya.

The Global Ambassador has led whisky tastings in Japan, Mongolia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iceland, Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, United States, Finland, Dubai, Lebanon, Israel, South Africa, Nigeria, and Sweden – all in the last year, and has observed that it’s an exciting time for the whisky category in terms of global drink trends.

“More mature whisky markets tend to favour early evening and responsible consumption; whilst in emerging markets it’s more of a high energy scene. Whisky is being consumed in the nightclubs of Nigeria. In Sri Lanka and India, whisky is consumed by a younger market with a lot of enthusiasm for mixology.”

Despite the different whisky consumption trends, what remains constant is that Glenfiddich is a trusted liquid that is being produced with the same tradition and integrity.

So how did Glenfiddich manage to be the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky?

Struan credits Glenfiddich’s success to four pillars: liquid integrity, family ownership, geographical location in the heart of Speyside, and the advantage of being available everywhere – from sports bars to five-star hotels. Thanks to Glenfiddich’s decision in 1963 to create a single malt, the whisky has established itself as one of the category’s icons and been a part of peoples’ celebrations all over the world. Struan is committed to bringing the same type of celebration to Kenya this week.

How Do You Enjoy Your Glenfiddich

Today in Nairobi, its sunny and a hot 26°C. Struan suggests a Scotch and Soda to begin the evening. A Glenfiddich 12 with a wedge of lemon, a version of a Classic Highball cocktail. Later on, when the evening gets cooler, Glenfiddich 18, maybe with a cigar will be perfect to continue the conversations. And finally, since he’ll be meeting a lot of new people and be in a celebratory mood over the next few days, Struan suggests Glenfiddich 21, rum-cask finished, will be perfect to toast the evening and week with.

 

 

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SUSAN WONG

Susan Wong is the Editor of Capital Lifestyle, a resident photographer, an award-winning journalist, radio presenter, full-time adventurer, long-time admirer of anything edible, and a spicy food athlete at Capital FM.

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