Whisky Magazine Issue 30
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Last year's winner strolled it this time round, winning an overwhelming proportion of the votes cast. Not surprising really – for what Richard has continued to bring to blending in the last year is a level of showmanship that can't help but win over people to the cause of whisky.
“Perhaps it should be performer of the year,” says journalist Tom Bruce-Gardyne. “For his quick-fire delivery, his deep knowledge of the history of Scotch, his wit, and not least his use of party poppers. This is the blender's art brought to life by a man confident that he has a great story to tell. Which he has.”
Richard is a man with a fine line in sartorial elegance and an ability to market his passions through himself. He is the perfect bridge between the product side of whisky and the people behind it, and has by far and away the highest profile of anyone in his position.
But most importantly of all, he is a walking, talking blend all of his own, mixing the old-school formal traditions of the trade with the most modern of approaches to marketing and public relations. And perhaps that's because he is a third generation master blender.
Words that occurred again and again in submissions on his behalf included “gentlemanly”, “passionate” and “professional”. He is liked and admired as much as he is respected.
He has also done a great deal to promote the skills of the blender and to garner respect for blended whiskies.
WHAT THE VOTERS SAID:
“He stands out in a class of h...