Top Scottish bartender becomes ambassador for blended scotch


Mal Spence Black Bottle

Leading bartender Mal Spence (pictured), founder of award-winning Glasgow bar Kelvingrove Café, has been appointed global ambassador for blended scotch whisky Black Bottle.

He has been given the newly created position to support Burn Stewart Distillers’ ambitious roll-out plan to ensure the brand becomes the blended scotch of choice for the world’s best bartenders.

Mal has more than 15 years’ experience tending and managing bars in Scotland, including heading the award-winning bar at the Blythswood Square hotel in Glasgow. Earlier in his career, he was at Bar Soba, Bar Ten, Salty Dog and One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow and Rick’s Bar in Edinburgh.

He has previously been involved with Black Bottle on creating key simple serves and working with bartenders around the world to develop more complex cocktails.

To engage with bartenders, he will talk about the story of the whisky’s creator Gordon Graham, the striking new-look packaging unveiled last year and the flexibility of its liquid in creating a vast array of serves.

Mal, who will continue to run Kelvingrove Café, said: “The Black Bottle ambassador job really shone out as an opportunity I just couldn’t say no to.

“The story of its creation and the life of Gordon Graham is a truly inspiring one among so many in Scotch whisky history and it will be a big part of the exciting and informative education plan we create for bartenders and passionate drinkers around the world. It is all in keeping with the inspiring stories I have looked for when developing numerous drinks menus over the years.

“Blended scotch whisky has been unjustly forgotten by many bartenders in recent years and with its liquid profile and striking presentation, I’m confident we can encourage bartenders and drinks enthusiasts to reconsider the category and put Black Bottle into their speed rails.”

Starting work with the brand this month, Mal will report into Marco Di Ciacca, global marketing manager for Black Bottle who commented: “It is a real coup to secure a man of Mal’s standing as our first brand ambassador.

“For Black Bottle to succeed, we need to be more relevant to today’s drinker. Mal’s approach to creating drinks and all-round knowledge of the on-trade will really help us engage the bartenders around the world who are the gate-keepers to many of these drinkers as we expand in many new markets.”

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