He faced six other bartenders at the final at the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown in Scotland, where they were challenged on their knowledge of whisky as well as their creativity in making cocktails.
Till impressed the judges with his cocktail, the Ruadh Damh – Scots Gaelic for “Red Stag” (pictured below). They praised the beautiful vibrant colour and fruit and spice-filled flavours that enhanced the Glenfiddich 18 Year Old that was the base of the drink. See below for the recipe.
Finalists had to showcase their creativity by making their own twist on the classic whisky cocktail, the Rob Roy, as well as devise their own signature serve using Glenfiddich 12, 15 or 18 Year Old. In addition, all candidates were quizzed on their knowledge of the malt whisky category.
The judging panel was led by Brian Kinsman, master blender for Glenfiddich producer William Grant & Sons, whisky consultant Mark Thomson and last year’s Malt Mastermind winner Lee Potter Cavanagh.
The other bartenders who won places at the final were Gareth Evans of Social Eating House in London, Evan Rage of London Cocktail Club in London, Marcis Dzelzainis of the about-to-open Satan’s Whiskers in east London, Marco Abreu of Aqua Shard in London, Henry Yates of Boilermaker in Nottingham and Jamie Ireland of Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh. They are pictured below with the judges.
Sarah Harding, senior brand manager for Glenfiddich, said: “The Malt Mastermind final was an exciting line-up of some of the finest talent in the bar industry.
“It was a tough call whittling down the finalists to one winner but Till Britze was a firm favourite with the judges and demonstrated a real passion for malt whisky and an extremely creative flair with his Red Stag serve.”
Sarah added: “Four years in and we continue to be seriously impressed with the calibre of entrants to the competition. We are lucky that the UK bar scene is fronted by some serious malt fans who are able to bring consumers innovative whisky serves.
“Whisky is an exciting category and remains in growth in the on-trade where outlets are increasingly placing malt serves on menus. Competitions like Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind aim to further encourage bartenders to experiment with malt and showcase its versatility to new drinkers.”
Ruadh Damh (The Red Stag) by Till Britze
50ml Glenfiddich 18 Year Old whisky
25ml Spiced damson reduction
2 dashes Boker’s Bitters
Stir everything over cubed ice and serve straight up in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a skewered plum and grapefruit twist.