I am a bit of a whisky nut: I run a whisky forum - Whisky Whisky Whisky - , a whisky blog - Glasgow's Whisky - , a whisky festival - Glasgow's Whisky Festival - and am a member of Glasgow's Whisky Club and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. I also regularly judge whiskies for publications such as Scottish Field Magazine and Whisky Magazine. I am passionate about all whiskies and love nothing more than tasting whisky from the cask at a distillery. After all that I sometimes just want a good ale, though, and will be often found in the Bon Accord bar, where our whisky club meets, or The Pot Still. Away from the drink side of things I love getting out and about in Scotland and am a fanatical sea angler and hillwalker.
Having grown up in Glasgow all my life I'm very vocal about this great city and determined to encourage and promote quality whisky and other drinks over and above mass-marketed, bland products through my whisky festival, online activities and The Good Spirits Co.
I dream of one day owning my own little, craft distillery on an island off the West Coast to which I can semi-retire and never need to buy whisky again.
I have worked for Oddbins for six years, five of which as a branch manager. For the past three years I have been the manager of Oddbins' flagship city centre store in Glasgow. In that time I have held various other roles within the company - Area Product Coordinator, responsible for all product training in Glasgow; Area Recruitment Coordinator, responsible for recruitment in Glasgow; and finally as Cluster Manager for twelve shops in Glasgow. I have nearly completed my WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits. Prior to working for Oddbins I worked for five years as a Regional Sales Executive for a small family run jewellery company, covering the UK, Ireland, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Southern Germany and finally Australia.
Given that the Irish invented whiskey, it was considered essential to have an Irishman involved to make this venture a success. I have been involved in selling quality libations to the discerning public for a large part of my working life, firstly in various alehouses of good repute around the country, and latterly (since 2003) in the hugely enjoyable madness that is Oddbins Wine Merchant. While there I worked my way up to Shop Manager level, and also managed to find time to complete the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits (with Merit - not that I'm showing off or anything). I have also been lucky enough to visit several wine (and brandy) regions around the world in the course of my studies.
My real passion is fortified wine (it's got spirit in it, that's my excuse), especially sherry - the most woefully underrated of all wines. I am a qualified Sherry Educator. I have also been inducted into the Brotherhood of Cava, a highly secret and select ceremony involving green cloaks, a sword, a huge gong, lots of cava and a Catalan oath.
Music (listening, not playing) also takes up a large part of my day, as will be evident if you come into our shop. In my spare time I like to annoy my wife by going sailing instead of doing DIY.