Stories of The Balvenie Distillery, as told by Brand Ambassador Ross Blainey

Ross Blainey describes his journey from Scottish pubs to an Australian + New Zealand Brand Ambassador, and what’s so enticing about The Balvenie’s new Stories range.

Ross Blainey is William Grant & Sons’ The Balvenie Brand Ambassador for Australia and New Zealand.

His job, as he puts it, is to bring some of the stories behind the 126-year-old Speyside distillery to those who haven’t been able to get there. Some of those enticing tales are also the ones behind the company’s new ‘The Balvenie Stories’ range of whiskys.

Ross’ first encounter with The Balvenie’s Single Malts was as a teenager, when he was tasked with building the whisky range at the Dufftown pub where he was working. He grew the bar’s range of single malts from under 10 to almost 200, yet found that he kept coming back to The Balvenie 12 DoubleWood as his go-to dram.

We ask Ross about the process to becoming a Brand Ambassador, the qualities that bode well for success in the role and what goes into developing brilliant tasting events.

"It's about passion and communication."

Then, we explore what's next for the category of whisky, as well as some food pairing tips, with some classic stories from the Distillery interspersed throughout.

You can find Living Proof on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

 

Key points

  • 05:14 Getting into Whisky
  • 07:05 Ross’ go-to dram
  • 11:08 Becoming a Brand Ambassador
  • 16:09 Tasting events
  • 19:00 The weirdest tasting note he’s encountered
  • 20:40 The Balvenie Stories
  • 27:27 What next for the category of Whisky?
  • 34:12 Translating the Scottish accent
  • 36:34 Food pairings