Ten bartenders have been announced as finalists in Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind which challenges competitors to demonstrate their knowledge and creativity with whisky.
Set to compete at the Glenfiddich Vaults at Voltaire bar in London on September 14, they are:
- Kieron Hall, Bonbar, Newcastle upon Tyne,
- Aiden Page, Carmelite Hotel, Aberdeen
- Alix Nardella, Mission E2, London
- Manacháin Monaghan, Monk Cocktail Bar, Buxton
- Dan Berger, Ace Hotel, London
- Bartosz Kowalski, Union Street Café, London
- Michael Cameron, Guy’s Restaurant & Bar, Glasgow
- Mark Barrett, Cringletie House, near Edinburgh
- Nicholas Gilmour, The Tippling House, Aberdeen
- Stephen Rutherford, Orchid, Aberdeen.
The competition, which is now in its sixth year, challenged them to create their own signature serve using Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera Vat or Glenfiddich 18 Year Old. They will also take part in a quick-fire buzzer round which will test their knowledge on whisky.
Judging the contest will be Glenfiddich’s UK brand ambassador Mark Thomson (pictured) and Kirsten Grant Meikle, who is the company’s director of prestige and a member of the Grant family, plus Gary Sharpen, editor of The Cocktail Lovers.
Each contestant will be tested on their creativity, innovation, technique and presentation. Judges will also be looking for a cocktail that demonstrates an excellent balance of flavour.
Mark said: “Selecting our finalists has been extremely difficult. The standard has been higher than ever, which is a credit to the on-trade industry in the UK.
“We are looking for a whisky maverick this year – someone who displays passion, knowledge and a modern style with a nod to tradition. It’s going to be a difficult one to judge but we have an esteemed panel on board who are well qualified to select a worthy winner.”
The bartender who is crowned this year’s Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind will win a VIP trip to the Glenfiddich distillery, the trophy and £1,000.