Glenfiddich announces Malt Mastermind finalists for 2014


Mark Thomson Glenfiddich

Twelve bartenders have been selected to compete in the finals of this year’s Malt Mastermind run by Glenfiddich whisky.

The competition, which is now in its fifth year, will test contestants on their creativity, whisky knowledge and passion for bartending. They are:

  • Ernest Reid, Boisdale of Canary Wharf, London
  • Alex Palumbo, Plateau, London
  • Andrea Signanini, The Bar at The Dorchester, London
  • Dominic Willox, The Tippling House, Aberdeen
  • Henry Yates, Boilermaker, Nottingham
  • Isabella Newman, The Earl, Bath
  • Steve Georgiou, Bourne & Hollingsworth, London
  • Keivan Nemati, The Zetter Townhouse, London
  • Alix Nardella, Dandelyan, London
  • Ali Reynolds, Hawksmoor Spitalfields, London
  • Michael Lynch, The Devil’s Advocate, Edinburgh
  • Jamie Ireland, Hotel Missoni, Edinburgh

Jamie (pictured below) was selected as a wildcard entry because of his performance in the 2013 Malt Mastermind competition.

The finalists will create their signature serve using Glenfiddich 14 Year Old, Glenfiddich 15 Year Old or Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Distillery Edition, before taking part in an additional challenge, which will be revealed on the day.

Each contestant will be judged by an expert panel comprising whisky expert and brand ambassador Mark Thomson (pictured top), Roman Foltan from the Artesian at London’s Langham Hotel and Kirsten Grant Meikle, a member of the William Grant family that owns Glenfiddich and also director of prestige at William Grant & Sons.

The final will take place at Callooh Callay in Shoreditch, London, on November 17. The bartender who is named Malt Mastermind will win a weekend stay in Dufftown including a VIP distillery experience, £1,000 and the Glenfiddich trophy.

Mark said: “This is an exciting year to be involved with Malt Mastermind as we’ve had more entries than ever and the calibre of entrants is astoundingly high.

“The finalists’ serves reflect Glenfiddich’s ruthlessly premium values but demonstrate that whisky is evolving and the on-trade is evolving with it.

“The level of creativity demonstrated by the applicants has been overwhelming and choosing 12 finalists out of so many strong entries was genuinely difficult.

“Having Kirsten and Roman on board adds another interesting element to the 2014 competition and a lot more pressure for the bartenders as they will need to impress two of the industry’s biggest whisky experts.”

Jamie Ireland

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