Scotch single malt whisky brand Glenfiddich has launched its Malt Mastermind competition for the fifth year, calling on bartenders to demonstrate their flair and creativity with a signature serve.
They can use Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Rich Oak, Glenfiddich 15 Year Old or Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Distillery Edition although, for the first time, the competition will focus on the 15 Year Old.
Instead of just six finalists in the past, this year’s competition is seeking 12, including a “wild card” entry. They will need to present their signature serve at the final and take part in another challenge to be revealed on the day.
The winner will be invited on an all-expenses-paid VIP trip to the Glenfiddich distillery where they will sample some rare expressions and gain access to parts of the distillery not open to the general public. They will also receive £1,000 cash and the chance to be on the judging panel in 2015.
The 2014 judging panel will include two new judges this year. Alongside whisky specialist Mark Thomson who was a judge last year, there will be Kirsten Grant Meikle, a member of the William Grant & Sons family and its director of prestige, and leading bartender Roman Foltan from Artesian bar at London’s Langham hotel.
The inaugural wild card entry will be Jamie Ireland from G&V Royal Mile Hotel in Edinburgh who reached the final last year and impressed the judges with his creativity when making his serve, the Scotsman, Frenchman and an Englishman.
Bartenders who want to enter the competition should visit www.glenfiddich.com/uk/explore/malt-mastermind. They are required to complete a short online entry form, including details of the serve they would create using the Glenfiddich 14 or 15 Year Old variants.
The deadline for entries is October 24. The final will take place in London on November 17.
The competition is being promoted via digital advertising, trade PR and social media.
Sarah Harding, senior brand manager for Glenfiddich, said: “Year on year, the calibre of bartenders entering the competition has only improved with some exceptional serves and creativity showcased.
“We are looking for someone who really understands the pioneering spirit of Glenfiddich and someone who has great knowledge of the category, the complex structure of the liquid and how flavours can be used in serves to really complement the whisky and create interesting drinks.
“We are also excited to have Kirsten and Roman on board for the first time too. Both bring exceptional levels of knowledge and expertise to the table and we have no doubt, will inspire and enthuse our finalists.”