Campari UK launches Meet the Masters: bringing together 140 years of knowledge

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For the first time ever, Campari UK launches Meet the Masters, a bespoke spirits-world experience that brings together more than 140-years of talent and expertise from four internationally-renowned and respected Master Blenders and Distillers to one luxurious London location, where guests will  immerse themselves in unrivalled knowledge of spirits and cocktails.

From the 14th to 16th May, the Master Distillers and Blenders behind Wild Turkey Bourbon, Appleton Estate Rum, Grand Marnier and Glen Grant Single Malt Scotch Whisky will unite to share their unparalleled knowledge and experience; a unique opportunity to learn from the best in the business. This includes:

  • Joy Spence of Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, the first woman to hold the position of Master Blender in the spirits industry
  • Eddie Russell of Wild Turkey Bourbon, the son of legendary Master Distiller Jimmy Russell, and the third generation Russell to work at the Wild Turkey Distillery in Kentucky
  • Patrick Raguenaud of Grand Marnier, whose family have been involved in the cognac industry since 1627
  • Dennis Malcolm of Glen Grant, who has worked at Glen Grant for over five decades and has over 45 years of experience in the whisky industry

Taking place at Carlton House Terrace in London’s Mayfair, Meet the Masters is an opportunity for guests from the drinks industry and beyond to learn about the heritage behind some of the  most exciting spirit brands, as well as the Masters’ view on the latest industry trends. The event will offer tasting sessions with each Master, panel discussions, and the chance to explore each of the brands in a stunning setting reflecting each spirit’s unique personality. Guests will learn the complexities and versatility of each brand, showcasing how Campari Group’s iconic drinks are the perfect addition to any cocktail.

“Meet the Masters is an incredibly important moment in time; it’s a first-of-its-kind opportunity for the industry to meet four of the unique personalities and experts behind some of our most iconic, premium spirit brands, joined together for the first time ever in London,” says Brad Madigan, managing director at Campari UK. “With over 140-years of shared experience in the spirits industry between them, Meet the Masters is a must-attend for those who are serious about spirits, the stories behind them, and hungry to know more, in a unique and intimate setting. We can’t wait to open the doors to guests and raise a glass to our Master Distillers and Blenders!”

The Masters:

APPLETON ESTATE JAMAICA RUM – JOY SPENCE, MASTER BLENDER:

Appleton Estate’s Master Blender, Joy Spence, has the honour of being the first woman to hold the position of Master Blender in the spirits industry.

In this role, Joy is responsible for creating new rum blends, including innovative Limited Edition rums. Simply put, it is Joy’s job to ensure that that all Appleton Estate rum blends meet the high standards that consumers have grown to love and expect.  For over 265 years, Appleton Estate has crafted authentic, premium rums using time-honoured traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation.  From cane to cup, these critically-acclaimed rums are created by the Jamaican terroir, ingredients, and practices unique to the Estate.

In 2018, Joy was chosen to receive the National Medal for Science and Technology at the National Medal for Science and Technology and Innovation Awards in her home country of Jamaica, chosen from a field of Jamaican industry luminaries. Joy made history at the ceremony as the first woman in Jamaica to achieve this award, continuing her legacy as a pioneer in the global spirits industry for over three decades.

WILD TURKEY BOURBON – EDDIE RUSSELL, MASTER DISTILLER:

With more than 35 years of experience, Edward Freeman Russell knows a thing or two about Bourbon. Eddie is the third generation Russell to work at the Wild Turkey Distilling Co. in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, and is of an unmatched pedigree in the Bourbon industry. Eddie is involved through the entire distillation and aging process of Wild Turkey Bourbon – just like his father, legendary Master Distiller Jimmy Russell – ensuring every bottle meets the exacting whiskey standards set forth by his predecessors.  

Wild Turkey is characterised by its distinctive bold and spicy flavour, thanks to its high rye content and use of the finest new American oak barrel with the heaviest and most expensive char available, the number 4 alligator char, which imparts a rich, smooth flavour and deep amber colour to the whiskey. Wild Turkey is aged for longer than most bourbon to ensure a richer flavour.

In 2010, Eddie joined his father and other greats in the Bourbon industry when he was inducted into the illustrious Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame™. Eddie is also the visionary behind the creation of Master’s Keep 17-Year Old, the longest-aged whiskey released by Wild Turkey in the United States.

GRAND MARNIER – PATRICK RAGUENAUD, MASTER BLENDER:

Grand Marnier’s Master Blender Patrick Raguenaud was born in 1954 in Jarnac, a commune in the Charente department in southwestern France; part of the Cognac region. Patrick’s life has always been interwoven with the territory – his family have been involved in the cognac industry in one form or another since 1627.

A role of tremendous importance and expertise, Patrick joined Grand Marnier as Master Blender in 2004, overseeing the purchase, ageing and blending of French cognac, as well as the important production of the bitter orange essence.

Created in 1880 by Louis-Alexandre, Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge is the flagship of the brand and combines the intensity of exotic bitter orange with the character of Cognac. The recipe has not changed since it was created, resulting in a liqueur with powerful and complex aromas and flavours, with Patrick at the helm.

GLEN GRANT SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY – DENNIS MALCOLM, OBE, MASTER DISTILLER:

Born in the grounds of Glen Grant in 1946, Dennis has worked for Glen Grant for over five decades and is one of the longest serving Master Distillers in Scotland. At age 15, Dennis began as an apprentice cooper and has since gone on to follow in his family’s footsteps as his father and grandfather also worked at Glen Grant.

Glen Grant was established in 1840 and is currently the world’s number 5 selling Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Renowned for its clear colour and pure taste, derived from the purifiers and tall slender stills designed by its inventor James Grant, Glen Grant is also famous for its quality, authenticity and versatility.

Dennis was recognised for his exceptional life’s work at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2015, where he received the Outstanding Achievement in the Scotch Whisky Industry Award. Just days after receiving this award, Dennis was also named the recipient of Whisky Advocate’s 22nd Annual Lifetime achievement award.

In 2016, Dennis was awarded the honour of an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to business and the Speyside community.