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Distinct flavours and ghosts stories: Gemma Paterson reveals what made The Balvenie a real & human brand

Paterson spent a few years as a tour guide at the Speyside distillery.

, ET Bureau|
Sep 14, 2019, 04.59 PM IST
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The Balvenie Global Brand Ambassador Gemma Paterson hosts an evening of crafted storytelling in Mumbai
Gemma Paterson, Global brand ambassador – The Balvenie, finds recounting stories from the distillery floor helps cement brand recall.
Gemma Paterson, Global brand ambassador – The Balvenie, finds recounting stories from the distillery floor helps cement brand recall.

How do you bring a whisky brand to life for people sitting thousands of miles away? You start with its ghosts.

When Gemma Paterson, Global brand ambassador – The Balvenie (luxury single malt Scotch whisky), first moved to America as a brand ambassador, she found it challenging to bring alive the artistry and passion that went into making each dram, despite having spent a few years as a tour guide at the Speyside distillery. “At the distillery I was used to having everything (machinery / processes / people) right there (but) when I started to work in America, I had to change my (presentation) style.”

So, Paterson pulled upon her experience as a tour guide and began to talk about the ghosts of Balvenie.

Guests captivated by Gemma Paterson's crafted storytelling of The Balvenie

Paterson pulled upon her experience as a tour guide and began to talk about the ghosts of Balvenie.



“(Instead of) saying, ‘Okay so Balvenie is a single malt Scotch, it’s North East Scotland. When we make our whiskey, we use malted barley we grow ourselves, we malt it ourselves and then we mill that barley down into a flour, then we mash it, then we add yeast, make it beer, then we distil it…’, I would say, ‘Robbie is our head maltman and he works in our floor maltings every day. And we have a famous ghost in the maltings. Her name is the Green Lady and at night, Robbie can hear her footsteps when he’s at work so he plays rock music really loudly so that he doesn’t hear them.’ Then afterwards, people would be like ‘Hey, I really liked that story about Robbie’.”

According to Paterson, stories are what made the brand real and human. “I guess I learned to tell stories about the people at the distillery because that’s the richness we have at our fingertips with Balvenie. It’s not just a factory where we’re making whiskey but it’s a place and a drink made by people with love and passion.”

On her maiden visit to India recently, Paterson hosted a close-knit whiskey tasting soiree for enthusiasts where she divulged the stories behind five rare crafts associated with the making of the Balvenie.

World Whisky Day: Give An Interesting Twist To Your Favourite Drink With These Recipes

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Cheers!

19 May, 2018
Whether you like your poison on the rocks or adulterated, you don't really need to wait for World Whisky Day to celebrate the smoothness and refinement of a good malt. But it's good reason to do so, nonetheless. So this Whisky Day, we got the experts to share their favourite cocktail recipes. From the cinnamon spice and caramel flavour of a whisky tiramisu to the sweet nuttiness of orgeat syrup and bitters in a new twist on a whisky sour, there's something for everyone.
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Gemma Paterson in India to promote The Balvenie brand

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