They are Will Cox of Monteith’s in Edinburgh, Alec Dyson of Booly Mardy’s in Glasgow, Gareth Evans of Pollen Street Social in London, Roberto Fiorillo of Mokoko in St Albans, Hertfordshire, Lee Orelowitz of London Cocktail Club in Goodge Street, London, Lee Potter-Cavanagh of Mark’s Bar at Hix in London, Dominic Wright of Castle Terrace in Edinburgh, and Henry Yates of World Service in Nottingham.
Now in its third year, the eight finalists were selected after completing the first round which involved answering a questionnaire on whisky and Glenfiddich online at www.glenfiddich.co.uk/maltmastermind.
At the final at the Beaufort Bar at The Savoy on November 26, they will have to create a twist on the classic whisky cocktail, Blood & Sand, as well as their own signature serve using either Glenfiddich 12, 15 or 18 Year Old Single Malt. They will also need to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of whisky.
This year’s judging panel will include Glenfiddich brand ambassador Jamie Milne and 2011 finalist Ryan Chetiyawardana, previously of The Worship Street Whistling Shop and 69 Colebrooke Row and now developing his own bar Mr Lyan.
Last year’s winner was David Sinclair (pictured) of The Bar at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland.
As well as a trophy and the title of Malt Mastermind 2012, the winner gets £1,000 and will be taken on an exclusive VIP trip to the Glenfiddich distillery, where they will be given the chance to taste a range of rare Glenfiddich expressions.
Jamie said: “Although Glenfiddich is not seen as a ‘cocktail brand’, whisky seems to be gaining popularity with the most creative mixologists. This is reflected in the fact that we have seen double the number of applicants in Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind 2012 compared to last year, including entries from some of the top bartenders in the most exciting venues around the UK.
“Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind 2012 provides the perfect mix of innovative cocktail-making ability with a deeper understanding of malt whisky and the Glenfiddich brand, with all finalists submitting a questionnaire on application and further in-depth knowledge needed at the final.
“The competition reinforces Glenfiddich as an exceptionally versatile single malt that is widely recognised as the world’s most awarded Scotch whisky.”