Name: Greg Dillon
Job Title: Whisky Director
What's your desert island drink & why?
Whisky... why not?!
We have many different favourite bars depending on the occasion. What's your favourite for: A. Pornstar Martini & Date Night? B. A Bloody Marry & Brunch? C. Rum Punch & a party?
A. Penicillin, Manchester.
B. The Whiskey Jar.
C. Albert Schloss. (tho I prefer a local boozer like The Cask Tavern in Poynton).
Which drinks industry heros have inspired you & how?
Billy Leighton - from accountant to Master Blender of the biggest brands in Irish whiskey... Ryan Cheti - just an all round amazing entrepreneur and lovely man, changed how bars work forever... Stephanie Macleod - Dewar's Master Blender, incredible innovator and lovely person too
Do you hace a favourite Cocktail Ingredient and why?
Scotch whisky, high ABV, so flexible and so potent a flavour that it balances well - not too sweet either.
If you were a cocktail which would you be and why?
Old Fashioned - I like things simple, yet powerful
If you could only drink alcohol which orginated in one country where would you choose & why?
Whisky in the Highlands of Scotland,
Which spirit/ingredients has your favourite packaging? How important is this?
Craigellachie... Sexton Irish whiskey... Italicus... No. 3 Gin... Aberlour... Dewar's... so many... it is massively important, packaging decides most sales, the liquid inside gets sales 2 onwards...
Do you have a preferred mixer / soft drink / non-alcoholic option and why?
Light tonic - am partial to a gin or few.
What's your favourite food to pair with drinks?
Fish - the delicate nature of it works well with aromatics of alcohol when cooked with it... also haggis...
How did you get into the drinks industry?
Working at design agencies, then set up GreatDrams.com, then set up my consultancy and started doing our own independent bottlings too... been quite a journey...
What do you love most about your job?
I get to work with amazing people and amazing drinks each and every day
And the worst bits?
Spreadsheets... expenses... admin... getting publishers to pay!
If you could share a cocktail with anyone who would it be and why?
My wife, Kirsty, and it would be an Espresso Martini
Do you have any recommended reads for booze lovers?
Biased but I wrote a book - The GreatDrams of Scotland :-)
What advice do you have for aspiring Drinks professionals?
Listen. Ask questions. Be interested in everything as you never know where you will end up with it all, so it is worth knowing as much as you can about everything you can.
What's your pet drinks industry hate?
Actually don't think I have one...
What's going to be the next big drinks trend?
Everyone always says rum, but I think a return to classic products like core gin brands and the consolidation of smaller producers who cannot ride the COVID wave
What have you learnt from lockdown - any positive takeaways?
People need booze, for the good times and the bad.
Any other pearls of wisdom or drinks rants?
Drinks are about stories, and layers of stories, that's what makes our world so special.