Next up in my series of interviews of people in the whisky industry is Graham Manson, Distillery Manager for Highland Park.
The man charged with ensuring that one of Scotland best loved whiskies keeps on producing some cracking drams.
1. How long have you been involved in the Whisky Industry?
Started with Ã¢â‚¬ËœBellsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ in 1985 and have been involved ever since; 26 years & counting!
2. WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s your earliest Whisky Memory?
One of the earliest and fondest memories is finishing off a bottle of Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe Real Mackenzie Ã¢â‚¬Ëœvery rareÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ 20 year old blended whisky with my parents not long after starting at Bells. Tasted lovely and we had a great time enjoying it!
3. WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s your proudest moment in your career within the Whisky Industry thus far?
Leading the project team who designed and constructed the Ã¢â‚¬ËœMuirhall SouthÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ development; providing maturation warehouse assets for The North British Distillery Co. capable of holding 40,000 casks.
4. What was the last dram you had?
An 18 year old Highland Park last night, sitting with friends in the drawing room at Balfour Castle, Shapinsay; finishing off a wonderful gastronomic evening enjoying Jean-Baptiste BadyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cooking.
5. What other whiskies and/or distilleries inspire you and why?
Edradour Ã¢â‚¬â€œ smallest distillery in Scotland; fond memories of visits there when I was living in Pitlochry.
Auchentoshan Ã¢â‚¬â€œ grew-up only a few miles from Ã¢â‚¬ËœAucheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. Sentimentally, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s my Ã¢â‚¬ËœhomeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ whisky.
Rosebank Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a rare lowland whisky from the long gone distillery in Falkirk. A nice one for drinking in the Ã¢â‚¬ËœWheatsheafÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, reminiscing with old pals.
6. What is your dram of choice?
Highland Park 12 year old.
7. The whisky industry seems very strong at the moment, where do you see it going over the next few years?
As new markets continue to open up to whisky IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m confident that, with careful planning, we can continue on the current upward trend of volume and revenue.
8. Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
Healthy, happy and living on an island, somewhere.
9. What is the strangest whisky superstition youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve came across?
like to think that even the weirdest whisky superstitions and myths have some semblance of good practice/science buried within them. Of course every distillery has stories of spirits and ghosts and there are parts of Highland Park where my dog will absolutely refuse to venture on dark, windy Orkney nights!
10. What dram would you absolutely not be able to live without?
The Next One
Many thanks to Graham for taking the time to answer these questions and I hope you enjoyed viewing them, more in this series in the coming weeks and remember to have a look at the the Highland Park. website for more of their range of brilliant whiskies.