Glasgow bartender wins Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind

Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind Michael Cameron

Michael Cameron (pictured) from Guy’s Restaurant & Bar in Glasgow has been declared the winner of this year’s Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind competition.

He beat some of the UK’s best bartenders in a final at Voltaire bar in London this week, winning £1,000 and a VIP trip to the Glenfiddich distillery.

The 10 finalists were challenged to present a signature serve using Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera Vat or Glenfiddich 18 Year Old whiskies. They also had to take part in a quick-fire buzzer round which tested their knowledge of malt whisky.

Michael’s serve was Ours is the Fury (pictured below), which showcased his originality, creativity and in-depth knowledge of the malt whisky category.

It combined Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera Vat with saffron-infused golden muscat smoked with hickory chips and powdered orange zest, plus Drambuie, Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters and vanilla sea salt, garnished with “crossed antlers” of dehydrated orange zest. See below for the full recipe.

The runners-up were Alix Nardella of Mission E2 in London and Dan Berger of Ace Hotel in London.

The other finalists were Kieron Hall of Bonbar in Newcastle upon Tyne, Aiden Page of Carmelite Hotel in Aberdeen, Manachain Monaghan of Monk Cocktail Bar in Buxton in Derbyshire, Bartosz Kowalski of Union Street Café in London, Mark Barrett of Cringletie House near Edinburgh, Nicholas Gilmour of The Tippling House in Aberdeen, and Stephen Rutherford of Orchid in Aberdeen.

The judges included last year’s winner, Ali Reynolds of London bar Hawskmoor Spitalfields who was also this year’s Diageo Reserve World Class GB bartender of the year. He was joined by Glenfiddich UK brand ambassador Mark Thomson, Kirsten Grant Meikle, director of prestige and a member of the William Grant & Sons family, and Gary Sharpen, editor of The Cocktail Lovers.

Mark said: “It’s heart-warming to be working with such talent. The respectful yet playful take on our brand was both exciting to judge and kept all the judges entertained, whilst making the winning decision extremely tough to call this year.”

Sarah Harding, senior brand manager for Glenfiddich, added: “Once again we were blown away by the high standard of the competitors in this much-anticipated contest. All of the finalists showcased wonderful examples of innovative whisky cocktails and we hope the competition inspires other bartenders to experiment with Glenfiddich, driving category interest and consumer recruitment.”

Ours is the Fury by Michael Cameron
35ml Glenfiddich 15 year old Old Solera Vat
35ml Saffron-infused golden muscat smoked with hickory chips and powdered orange zest
15ml Drambuie
7 drops Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
Pinch of vanilla sea salt
Garnish: Dehydrated candied orange zest
Stir and serve in a branded Maltmaster glass with crossed “antlers” of dehydrated orange zest.

Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind Michael Cameron cocktail

Updated September 17, 2015, with the addition of Mark Barrett who was omitted from the finalists’ list by Glenfiddich.

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