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Issue 42 - A world at her feet

Whisky Magazine Issue 42
September 2004


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A world at her feet

Iseabail Mactaggart could have pretty much chosen to work anywhere. She chose the Islay whisky industry. Here's why…

Although she would hate anyone to say it, Iseabail Mactaggart was the sort of person they were thinking of when they coined the phrase ‘high flyer.'

By the time she had reached her 20s she had a degree in two languages under her belt, was a native speaker of two more, had worked in Shanghai and London, had been employed by the BBC in England and Scotland and had risen to assistant editor on BBC Radio Five's prestigious Breakfast Show. She was one of the company's youngest producers and set for a glittering broadcasting career.

So what did she do? She headed home to Scotland, back to Islay, and sought work in the whisky industry.

And it's to the sector's great credit that she is now communications officer for Morrison Bowmore – and happy as can be.

Iseabail is from Islay and is a native English and Gaelic speaker. Indeed she speaks English with a West Coast lilt that makes it sound like it's a foreign language.

When it came to going to University, then, it made sense for her to study English and Gaelic.

“And I was going to,” she says “but then I decided to go the opposite way and to study Japanese instead. I'd like to say it was part of a structured career plan for the future but it was not. It was just me being contrary.”

As easy as that. Japanese and Chinese.

And she wasn't finished yet. With the degree under her belt she decided to pursue a career that allowed her to use her Chinese and she settled on law, studying her Articles and spending time in the 8...

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