Join SLTN and Pernod Ricard for virtual whisky tasting

Sign up now for The Glenlivet event on 10th May

SLTN and Pernod Ricard UK have joined forces to host a special virtual whisky tasting next month.

Part of the SLTN Trade Tastings series, the online event at 7pm on 10th May will see David Robinson, The Glenlivet UK brand ambassador, host a tasting of The Glenlivet 12 year old and The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve, rounding off with a Tartan Tiki featuring The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve.

Operators and bartenders can sign up to receive a tasting kit and place on The Glenlivet tasting here:

Ahead of the tasting, SLTN caught up with David for the lowdown on the virtual event and all things The Glenlivet.

Which drams have you chosen for the SLTN Trade Tastings and why?

The Glenlivet 12: a no-brainer. This dram embodies the spirit of the distillery and the quintessential Speyside style that is so well recognised and well regarded within our whisky. It’s a representation of everything that our distillery and its ethos is built upon, making it a great starting point for the session.

The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve: the newest member of The Glenlivet family. What happens when we take that house style we know so well and allow it to develop and evolve with maturation in select ex-Caribbean rum casks? Expect a single malt that is full of life, character and depth – perfect for the summer either neat or in a cocktail.

Tartan Tiki: The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve shines in this tropical highball serve, bringing in peach and pineapple effervescence whilst allowing the whisky to shine! Single malts can’t be mixed? Think again.

What can bartenders expect from the virtual tasting?

Whisky is a conversation and in the virtual tasting, we are going to discuss single malt Scotch whisky in the modern world and how we as an industry can make moves to ensure that the national drink can be enjoyed by a wider audience. As we move into warmer months and gradually back into hospitality as it reopens, I really want to highlight that single malts have their place in the bar as neat serves of course, but also as amazing, versatile cocktail ingredients that can be utilised all year round – something we’ll be able to see first-hand as we make the Tartan Tiki.

How do you think whisky will perform in Scotland’s pubs and bars going forward? What trends do you expect to see in the category? And what about different serves and cocktails?

Whisky remains a staple of Scotland’s pubs and bars, though what we have seen throughout the lockdown is that customers are more curious than ever when it comes to drinks. They have been creating cocktails at home and trying new things – now that they are heading back into bars as they reopen, they want to continue exploring this curiosity. Regarding the category itself, I expect to see an increased focus on the product, with guests exploring new styles, new drams from their favourite distilleries and even new whisky cocktails. With post-lockdown tourism in Scotland hopefully set to see a sharp increase again, this is a great time for the national drink to take centre stage.

What should operators and bartenders consider when deciding which whiskies to stock?

It’s all about variety. When considering which whiskies to stock, ensure that you have some great blends, as well as a range of single malt styles from the five Scotch whisky regions, with age statements and different cask influences to suit an array of palates. Also, if you want to offer Scotch whisky cocktails in your venue, consider versatility and what mixes well in different serves. The amount of flavour we can pull from each drop of whisky is incredible and, when mixing, we want to ensure that those flavours are there and truly complement each other.

What do you think Pernod Ricard UK’s whisky portfolio offers?

Our brands are steeped in their own unique histories, with amazing origins and stories that accompany them. Most importantly for me, however, our whisky portfolio offers brands which acknowledge and celebrate that history, but also look to the future of the category. We always remain innovative, exploring things such as new select cask maturation, limited releases and even new packaging solutions to keep us sustainable and contemporary – all whilst protecting the integrity and the history of the brands through the work at our archives and at the distilleries themselves.

How long have you worked in your role and how did you get started in the industry?

I’ve been in the role for just over two years, though I am approaching a full decade in hospitality. I had previously held part time jobs in the kitchen and front of house when I was in high school and college, though my first time stepping onto the bar came whilst I was at university in Glasgow. From part-time work at university to full-time roles in bartending, bar management, operations and consultancy across the UK and Australia, I finally find myself proudly in my current my role. The industry has taught me so much, and I hope to remain a part of it for as long as I can.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

Travelling! I love visiting different cities across the UK and finding myself in bars around the country, speaking to bartenders and discovering new places. Also, having previously lived in Glasgow for five years, it’s always a pleasure to come back to Scotland and meet up with friends and explore old haunts and new openings across the country. Travelling is the thing that I’ve missed the most throughout the last few months and is something I really can’t wait to get back to once we’re safely able to do so.

What’s your most memorable dram and why?

It’s perhaps a tough one to explain, but it was in the departures lounge at Narita International Airport in Tokyo. After just finishing my travels around South East Asia and Japan, I was getting ready to fly to Brisbane for a full year in Australia – I’d just spent the last of my currency on a dram of Japanese whisky and was sat there alone with my carry-on bag, my passport and my phone, reflecting on what I’d done over the past few months and what I was about to do. I had a couple of uncertainties and I was taking a bit of a leap of faith with my decision, but I’ll never forget that nervous excitement I felt in the moment.

If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be, what would you drink and where?

Unfortunately, he isn’t with us anymore but I would have loved to have had the opportunity to have a drink with Anthony Bourdain. A whisky, a beer and a steaming bowl of noodles in some Vietnamese street market just chatting about life and watching the world go by.