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Whiskey Master Interview: Ballantine's and Royal Salute Global Head Blender Sandy Hyslop

威士忌大師訪談: 百齡罈暨皇家禮炮全球首席調酒師Sandy Hyslop

It is a great honor to interview Sandy Hyslop, global chief bartender of Ballantine's and Royal Salute in London. This master talked about his passion for whiskey, his talent for blending whiskey, the inheritance of this industry from generation to generation and the enlightenment for readers. Some suggestions for whiskey tours.

1) Sandy, what does whiskey mean to you?

Nothing in this world brings me more joy than scotch whiskey! I am very fortunate to have a combination of work and passion. The bartender is an important role that connects every link in the whiskey production process. Starting from the new wine that has just been distilled, we have to confirm that the quality and aroma are up to standard. The oak barrels for maturing whiskey are also selected by us, as well as all the inventory From the distribution management to the final whiskey blending, we have to make sure that every link is perfect to create the highest quality whiskey. Even after 34 years in the business, I still have that heart-pounding feeling when I get new samples and can't wait to taste their aromas or find a cask of good forgotten whiskey in the corner of the cellar !

2) Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into the whiskey industry in the first place?

I got into the industry in 1983, working as a quality control at a distillery in Dundee. Since 1992, one day a week I have studied with Jack Goudy, the legendary chief bartender of Ballantine's! I am learning bit by bit with the master. After that, I joined Ballantine's in the Dumbarton headquarters in the mixing (Blending) team, and later took over the position of Ballantine's head blender. In Ballantine's 150-year history, there have only been five head bartenders in total. During our long tenure, the first priority will be to maintain the consistency and taste of Ballantine's. I am truly honored to be a part of this brand, and I do what I do every day with gratitude.

3) You took over the role of head bartender at Royal Salute last year, can you chat with us?

Being appointed as the head bartender to lead the Royal Salute blending team is undoubtedly a peak of my career! Royal Salute is a brand that has always challenged itself in terms of brand story and design. As the head bartender, I will also add some new elements to Royal Salute while continuing the high expectations of everyone for this brand; for example, the Royal Salute Polo Edition that was launched recently. This limited edition polo series is bottled in lake blue and tastes more refined than Royal Salute 21, suitable for drinking outdoors in summer afternoons.

4) How did you discover your talent for whiskey blending? 

When I started working in Dundee, I found that I have a very good sense of smell and a strong memory of various smells. At that time, my job was not only to test samples but also to understand the whole whiskey production process. The distillery is very small, so I can participate in every part of the process, which is very helpful for me to increase my whiskey knowledge and accumulate experience! Experience the different aromas of whiskey through the sense of smell and observe the whiskey in the process. The various changes produced in high-quality oak barrels are also a great inspiration for me to blend whiskey in the future!

5) What is the biggest challenge when it comes to blending whiskey?

The biggest challenge for me is the responsibility of passing on from generation to generation! The whiskey I am making now may have to age quietly in oak barrels for decades to come, and I also look forward to today's efforts. Decades from now it will become a favorite whiskey! When I make whiskey now, I think of the next master blender, I have to save a whole cellar for him, just like I The same as left to me by my previous head bartender!

6) What do you think is the next trend in whiskey?

There is always a thirst for new products in the whiskey market, and now casks are all the rage. I also try to put the whiskey in different casks to see how the whiskey changes with the different casks over time. The industry is always innovating to amaze whiskey lovers again and again!

7) Finally, what advice would you give to readers who want to start their whiskey journey?

Enjoy it! You can imagine how much whiskey I have drank over the years, but every sip is a treat for me! For those drinkers who are just starting their whiskey journey, I would suggest not sticking to the form of drinking, whiskey can be alone Drink, add water, add ice cubes, add soda, and make a cocktail! The best way to drink is the best way to drink!

威士忌大師訪談系列: 百齡罈暨皇家禮炮全球首席調酒師Sandy Hyslop

Lisa Huang's book "Slightly Drunken, London: Drinking Culture and Wine Stories, Overturning Your Imaginary Britons" fully reconcile travel, British culture, and wine knowledge with emotional brushstrokes, and share a glass of fragrant and charming wine with you . Book details, blog to order online


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