Friday, July 29, 2016


William Grant & Sons has announced the UK winner of Glenfiddich’s inaugural global Experimental Bartender Competition.

Shea Campbell from Aberdeen, who has been crowned the first winner in the new competition, will join winners from the USA, Germany, Columbia, SA, UAE, Switzerland, India and Australia at the Glenfiddich Experimental Bartender Academy, at the Glenfiddich Distillery in November.

Shea Campbell, Mark Thompson (UK Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador) & Ciara Campbell

Shea partnered with his sister Ciara, a ceramics artist, to create different vessels allowing the drinker to explore the various flavours and aromas of the whisky, as well as experience the touch, weight and colour of the vessel itself.

True to Glenfiddich’s maverick family values, the global search aims to recognise and reward forward thinking bartenders who collaborate with ‘mavericks’ outside the traditional drinks world, such as musicians, chefs and artists, to develop a unique and inventive Glenfiddich drinking experience.

The judges’ criteria was to find someone with exceptional whisky knowledge who could bring a disruptive, category changing concept and show good commercial understanding for their idea to be replicated globally. The judges, who included Glenfiddich UK Ambassador, Mark Thomson, Glenfiddich’s Senior Brand Manager, Sarah Harding, Hannah Sharman-Cox of Drink up London and Tony Conigliaro of The Drink Factory were impressed by the strong family connection and the share-ability of the siblings’ idea.

Commenting on the news, Shea Campbell, said: “To win was very special, because this went beyond other competitions which have the liquid as the focal point, allowing us to focus on the experience. Glenfiddich have really started a new dialogue and platform for bartenders to extend their creative abilities beyond the realm of ingredient pairings and brand knowledge.”

During the four day Glenfiddich Experimental Bartender Academy, the global winners will be tasked with hands on experiences at every stage of the whisky making process. On the fourth and final day they will present their idea to the global judges, and the winning collaboration will see their idea become reality, supported by Glenfiddich.

Posted by Steve Rush