Q&A – Gerry Tosh of Highland Park – Part 4
Following our successful Q&A posts from Olaf Meier of SMWS, Jim McEwan of Bruichladdich and Ann Shackell of Deanston, we are now kicking off the 2nd half of our posts with answers from Whisky Amabassador of the Year 2010 (Gerry Tosh of Highland Park).
When did you first get involved in the Whisky Industry and why…. maybe it was a calling from the angels, or your family were already involved?
A. Not quite as exciting as a calling. I was working for Ever Ready Batteries and living in Newcastle and I was looking for a move back home, by pure luck I heard of an opportunity for a role with Highland Distillers based in Carlisle. It wasn’t home but with a Scottish company so the chance of moving back after a couple of years was there. I was lucky to get it and then moved to Carlisle. Seven months later, after getting my wish, was back in Scotland and things got better from there.
If you weren’t in this industry where would you like to be and what would you be doing? Remember you are in the real world you still need to be making an income.
A. I played a lot of Rugby and would like to think if I wasn’t distracted by work I could have made a career out of that or maybe as a golfer. Basically I would have done anything that didn’t involve actual work.
So far what has been your proudest moment in the Whisky Industry?
A. Easy, has to be winning Whisky Ambassador of the year 2010. To be voted by your peers the best in the world at your job will always be the proudest moment in my career…unless I win it again.
Do you have a favourite Distillery, which one and why?
A. If I had to pick one which was not owed by our company then I would have to go for the Dalwhinnie Whisky Distillery as this was the first distillery I visited with my father. Then some 15 years later was the first single malt I bought with my own money.
Where is your favourite bar / pub for drinking your favourite Dram, and who would you choose to be with you?
A. Favourite bar would be the Fisherman’s Tavern in Broughty Ferry, Dundee. Great pub with loads of character and characters who drink there. I’d be happiest with Mrs Tosh and a glass of Highland Park 12 year old chatting about how I need to get the garden done, house painted or in general help do the cleaning…just the normal things that I miss when I travel so much.
Has there been a Whisky recently that has surprised the hell out of you?
A. Has to be the new St Magnus. The full blooded nature of our 12 year old at 55% surprises me time after time and this is no exception. The variety of flavours and layers of character just is simply astonishing.