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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

#CulinaryKingsandQueens #MoverandShaker #CharlieWhitfield #GlobalBrandAmbassador #ProgrammeManager #TheMacallan

Charlie Whitfield, Global Brand Ambassador The Macallan

Charlie Whitfield was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. At the age of two, his granny bought him a raffle ticket and he proceeded to win first prize; two cases of The Macallan 10 Years Old, thus starting his lifelong fascination with Scotch whisky.

As befits his name, Charlie began his career in the chocolate world, not in the factory but working in the duty free office of Bendicks of Mayfair, a chocolate brand popular with the British monarchy and holder of the Royal Warrant. This job led to a marketing role in duty free, based out of London and working with leading luxury spirits brands.

It was at this time that Charlie met a beautiful Californian girl, at a wedding in Edinburgh. Destiny played its part, for they met at the same house that Charlie’s parents first ever met at! After a couple years of long-distance commuting between London and New York, Charlie moved to New York in 2010. We met him in New York and he earned a Mover and Shaker interview back in 2013.

When Charlie moved to the US, he realized his lifelong passion with whisky and started working for The Macallan Single Malt Scotch Whisky, as the national brand ambassador. 10 years on, he has now returned to Scotland with his family in his current role as global brand ambassador programme manager for The Macallan.

We are absolutely thrilled to present Charlie Whitfield as our latest Culinary King! We love Macallan too and the 12 year double cask is perfect to celebrate our 12 year anniversary. Peachy Deegan interviewed Charlie for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: It seems that now not only are you a Macallan ambassador but you are THE Macallan ambassador-did we see manager in your title?
Charlie Whitfield: 10 years on, I’m still lucky enough to be able to represent The Macallan. Having moved back to Scotland with my family in 2018 my current role is global brand ambassador programme manager. No day is the same, but my focus is to ensure my colleagues around the world have all the knowledge, tools, and confidence to talk about The Macallan and all things whisky.

Please tell us more about the double cask methodology.
The Macallan Double Cask range was introduced in 2016 to offer consumers a new style of The Macallan. It is crafted using 100% sherry seasoned casks and celebrates the marriage of the classic style from The Macallan with the unmistakable sweetness of American oak, matured in the perfect balance of hand-picked American and European oak sherry seasoned casks. The result is an approachable yet rich flavour profile across the range, perfect for all occasions.

What are the top Macallan collectable bottles today and how would one go about acquiring them? Last time you said some was more valuable than gold and we say it is far more valuable than Game Stop, Silver and Crypto…surely many of those investors wish they could drink their investment.
The Macallan Fine & Rare collection represents some of the rarest and very best of The Macallan’s oldest maturing stock, ranging from the 1920’s to the 1990’s, revealing an extraordinary diversity of colour, aroma and flavour. A bottle of the Fine & Rare 1926 vintage sold at auction in 2019 for $1.9 million. More recently, The Macallan Red Collection launched at the end of 2020, with whiskies ranging from 40 to 78 years old. These were available from The Macallan Estate, our airport boutiques as well as a limited number of specialist whisky retail outlets around the world.
The great thing about whisky though, is that you can always open and enjoy it with friends!

If one was stranded on a desert island with only three bottles of Macallan, what should they be and why? By the way with so much closed Manhattan is somewhat of a desert island these days and all Manhattanites should be so lucky to be stranded with Macallan.
Tricky question, and it depends when you ask me that question (mood, time of day and what the weather is like), but I would say The Macallan Double Cask 15 years old, Rare Cask, and the Sherry Oak 25 years old.

What do you think of Scotland becoming independent from the UK and all that has transpired with Brexit?
Only time will tell.

Peachy is not a doctor nor does she provide medical advice but personally when she is sick she drinks scotch. How does Macallan have such healing qualities? (Editor note: She also drinks it when she is not sick.)
The word whisky is derived from the ancient Scots words ‘uisge beatha’ which translated means ‘the water of life.’ I’m sure you will know about the hot toddy as well, which some people believe might help relieve the symptoms of a cold, but of course I would always recommend you speak to your doctor if you aren’t feeling well!

What is the best recipe for a hot toddy please?
The key ingredients are whisky, honey, fresh lemon juice and hot water, but you might also try swapping the water for ginger tea and adding a cinnamon stick to garnish.

You said you wanted to market your own luxury brand someday. How is that coming along?
I wouldn’t call it my own, but I’m lucky to be able to work for, represent and share stories about a certain luxury whisky brand!

You had said your favorite shop is Whole Foods; how come we can’t buy Macallan on Amazon yet or better yet Prime Delivery?
Sadly no Wholefoods in Edinburgh, but Marks and Spencer is a worthy replacement. You can buy whisky on Amazon in Scotland, and indeed online from the E-boutique at which you can also do in the USA.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
I’m always in awe of the men and women who have pursued an unrelenting pursuit of quality in the whisky making of The Macallan since 1824, an art that which rings true to this day.

What are you proudest of and why?
Creating a family with my wife.

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?
Retire feeling fully accomplished and proud of my achievements. A few years to go though!

What honors and awards have you received in your profession?
I recently gained the General Certificate in Distilling qualification, but I think I’ll leave the distilling and production side of things to the experts, too much maths and science for my liking!

What do you miss most in Manhattan (keep in mind it’s more than likely many of the people that are still here might miss it too!)?
The buzz of the city and the people.

What would you like to be asked in an interview that you never have been asked, and how would you answer it?
“As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?” A train driver! That dream never came true but I’m certainly happy how my career has turned out!

What should the world know about Scotland?
The stunning scenery, especially the west coast islands such as Skye, Mull, Harris and Arran.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated in Scotland?
The cuisine. Bagpipes played early in the morning!

Does your wife and do your kids like Macallan as much as you?
My kids aren’t old enough yet, but my wife and I certainly enjoy a dram of The Macallan together.

Have you been sailing a lot now that you are back in Scotland?
Not as much as I would like, but I did go sailing in France (lle de Re) with my Dad and brother before lockdown.

What do you love best about being back in Scotland?
Living in a city but being able to be out in the countryside within 10 minutes to enjoy the stunning scenery.

Have you been able to hire James Bond yet?
No, but I hear he is partial to a dram of whisky!

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
I think that covers everything, but you can always find me on Instagram, Facebook or perhaps up at the distillery on The Macallan estate in Speyside, Scotland.

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