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THE JUDGES


ROUTLEDGE Manager,


Single Malts Direct


After leaving college Ronnie worked in the wine industry for six years, which is where he learnt to appreciate his nose and palate.


He then joined Gordon & MacPhail as retail manager for 16 years, which is where he gained his knowledge of the whisky industry, although


RONNIE


he was already an avid whisky enthusiast in his home time. After that he spent three- and-a-half years with Duncan Taylor & Co/SingleMaltsDirect. com as retail manager, where he scooped Retailer of the Year, before being head-hunted by Glenglassaugh Distillery, where he was the customer account manager, looking after the UK market as well as being heavily involved with product development and quality control. Ronnie is currently manager


of Single Malts Direct, a website that has been sending whiskies and a range of other spirits and liqueurs to customers all over the world since 2001. Accolades include Whisky Retailer of the year single outlet 2010. In 2003 he was made a keeper of the Quaich for his services to the whisky industry and I was also one of the four inaugural judges in the Scottish Field Whisky Challenge.


RUSSELL Proprietor,


Robbie’s Drams


Having spent his entire working life in the licensed trade – this year Robin is celebrating thirty years in the business – Robin has a real passion for whisky and it’s always an honour to have him on our panel. Robin personally manages one of the largest whisky stock holding retail units in the country and one of


ROBIN


the largest online whisky shops, specialising in rare and collectable investment whiskies, and with an extensive range of clients both in the UK and worldwide. He was one of the first people to start a whisky festival in the country way back in 2003 – the annual Whisky an’ A’ That! Festival in Ayr, which hosts a wealth of whisky companies, plus celebrity guests and speakers. He also operates his own exclusive whisky club, organising tastings throughout the country. When the licenced trade was reorganised in 2007, Robin was appointed as the first Chair of South Ayrshire Local Licensing Forum, holding that position for the maximum four-year tenure. Robin particularly loves recognising new variants of much-loved whiskies in the Scottish Field Whisky Challenge, and every year he strives to introduce something new in the nomination process.


of Speyside Whisky Festival tastings for the shop and ensures customers experience some of the vast selection of single malts on offer.


MARK ANGUS Retail Manager,


Gordon and MacPhail


Mark is currently the Retail Sales Manager at Gordon & MacPhail, winners of Whisky Magazine Retailer - Single Outlet 2014. Responsible for all aspects of their flagship store in Elgin, which opened in 1891, including choosing the G&M Retail Exclusive whisky range, which he samples and writes the tasting notes which appear on the back label.


Mark also organises the Spirit


In September 2008 he became an Honorary Stillman, spending time at Benromach Distillery, gaining more knowledge of whisky making. He has also completed the G&M Scotch Whisky Course at Moray College UHI under the guidance of Jim Cryle. Mark has conducted many tastings for whisky enthusiasts over the last few years and has sampled a number of rare whiskies, including G&M Generations Mortlach 1938, G&M Generations Glenlivet 1940 and Glen Grant 1960 42.3% . The 2014 Scottish Field


Whisky Challenge will be Mark’s third. For him, the most exciting part of the event is the anticipation of seeing the line-up of whiskies as you enter the room – not knowing what flavours you are about to sample.


whiskies and also do a number of their own bottlings every year as special single cask releases.


Douglas has spent the last


DOUGLAS WOOD Owner, Woodwinters Wines and Whiskies


Douglas is the owner of the award winning wine and whisky retailer and wholesaler, Woodwinters Wines and Whiskies, which has a retail presence in Edinburgh as well as the original store in Bridge of Allan. However, the the larger part of its business is wholesaling to hotels and other retailers across Scotland. WoodWinters are also brokers of older casks of


ten years as a senior judge at the International Wine Challenge. The key difference he picks out between the two competitions is that a large brand cannot pay to have their whiskies entered into the Scottish Field Whisky Challenge; indeed they can only be proposed by expert tasters who can be tasting over a thousand whiskies each year. In Douglas’s opinion this makes the SF Whisky Challenge unique. It also makes the standard of entries to be judged extremely high. Indeed, he points out that whilst there might be some debate surrounding the results, one thing is for sure – every single winner truly is an exceptional whisky, and that every whisky afficionado should be out there looking to get some for themselves.


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