WHAT’S YOUR SERVE? Graham Eunson on industry change and how to try whisky in new ways – Scotch Whisky News

WHAT’S YOUR SERVE?

Graham Eunson on industry change and how to try whisky in new ways

After eight years at Tomatin Distillery, Graham Eunson has been sampling both exquisite single malts and high-quality blends for years. In this time, he’s led tasting events, spoken at whisky festivals, as well as ran production for the entire distillery.

Following his recent promotion to Distillery Operations Director, Graham has taken the time to look back over a career that spans almost three decades in the whisky industry.

Over the years, Graham has noticed a huge surge in the appeal of whisky, as well as the increasing knowledge of the ever-emerging whisky consumer:

Mr Eunson said“Back when I started in the industry, it was seen that middle aged, working class men drank whisky in the pub, and upper class men drank single malts at home. I think over the years it’s become more accepted that actually, whisky is something that appeals to younger people and women in equal measure. Just look at the whisky festivals, there’s such a huge diversity of age, culture and gender and that’s fantastic.” 

“I think one of the biggest changes to the industry is that the level of consumer knowledge is much, much greater than it was. People know more about individual brands, they’ve learnt facts about individual distillery history, and they have an incredible wealth of knowledge when it comes to whisky tasting. It makes hosting a tasting session so much more enjoyable.”

Tomatin Highland Single Malt is committed to reflecting this diversity of taste in its Core Range of whiskies. The range features a variety of expressions, ranging from £30, up to £600. It includes a light and fruity introductory whisky (Legacy), a cask strength bottling, as well as several premium releases (30 Year Old and 36 Year Old).

When asked if he had a favourite whisky, Graham Said: “It’s like trying to choose your favourite child, I have a favourite son and a favourite daughter because I’ve only got one of each. With the range at Tomatin, I like them all but it depends on the season, it depends on the occasion. In terms of Tomatin’s Core Range, The Legacy is your best starting point – it’s quite sweet and less of an acquired taste. What’s more, the Legacy cocktail pairings are some of the most fun and refreshing ways to try the whisky.”

Tomatin is one of the few whisky brands that creates bespoke cocktails for their entry level spirits. Graham believes that it’s a key part of the brand, and something that keeps the distillery innovative.

Graham said: “Over the last few decades, we’ve been missing out on opportunities with cocktails. Because of the quality, especially single malts, everyone says that you shouldn’t mask some of the subtle flavours and that’s true. But, if that’s not how you prefer to drink your whisky, who am I to tell you how to drink your whisky. What is the correct way to drink a single malt? There is only one way, and that’s how you as an individual prefer it. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a highball, with soda water, neat, with coke or lemonade or ginger ale. It doesn’t matter. I would always encourage people to try it in different ways, because it may actually surprise you.

Notes

Tomatin Distillery has been producing and blending malt Scotch whisky since 1897. Over the last 50 years, the distillery has borne witness to vast change. At its peak in the 1970s, Tomatin was the largest distillery in the world operating 23 stills and producing 12 million litres of alcohol every year. Over the last decade, significant time has been invested in rediscovering the distillery, people and values, and in refining the business model to move away from the formerly lucrative bulk commodity market to now focus on Tomatin’s core range of single malts.

Tomatin is located in the Scottish Highlands (near Inverness) and is famous for its portfolio of soft and mellow whiskies, including a core range, a limited-edition range and a premium archive range (prices range from £30 – £10,000). Tomatin is one of the fastest growing whisky brands in the UK and recently announced that it is officially the fastest growing top ten single malt whisky in the USA. Tomatin recently reported its turnover increased by almost 25% during the company’s most recent financial year (Dec 2016 – Dec 2017). Tomatin won Distiller of the Year 2016 and Brand Innovator of the Year 2017 at the Icons of Whisky Scotland Awards.

Tomatin Legacy Cocktail Pairings

CHERRY & BLACK PEPPER SOUR

TOMATIN LEGACY WITH CHERRY SYRUP & BLACK PEPPER MAKES FOR A SUMPTUOUS TAKE ON THE CLASSIC WHISKY SOUR.

50 ml / 2 oz Tomatin Legacy

50 ml / 2 oz Lemon Juice

25 ml / 1 oz Cherry Syrup

¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper

1 Egg White

Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake hard. Strain into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass and garnish with black cherries and black peppercorns.

TOMA’TIN & TONIC

TOMATIN (MEANING THE HILL OF THE JUNIPER BUSH) LEGACY MAKES FOR A REFRESHING TWIST ON THE CLASSIC G & T.

35ml Tomatin Legacy

Squeeze of a lemon wedge

Indian tonic water

Add Tomatin Legacy over ice in a stem-less wine glass before squeezing in the juice of a lemon wedge. Drop in some juniper berries then top with sparkling Indian tonic water. Garnish with a wedge of fresh lemon.

ICED T.E.A.

A COMBINATION OF TOMATIN LEGACY, CHILLED EARL GREY TEA AND CLEAR APPLE JUICE GIVES BIRTH TO A LONG COOLING DRINK.

50ml/2oz Tomatin Legacy

50ml/2oz Chilled Earl Grey tea

50ml/2oz Clear apple juice

Dash peach bitters

Pour Tomatin Legacy over ice in a Highball glass. Place 2 lemon wheels into the glass and then build with chilled Earl Grey tea, clear apple juice and a dash of peach bitters. Stir and garnish with a sprig of mint and fresh peach wedge.

LASTING LEGACY

THE CITRUSY TROPICAL NOTES OF TOMATIN LEGACY LENDS WELL IN THIS PUNCH STYLE COCKTAIL.

50ml/2oz Tomatin Legacy

25ml/1oz Elderflower liqueur

25ml/1oz Lemon juice

50ml/2oz Pineapple juice

Dash Angostura bitters

Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake hard. Strain into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass and garnish with a dehydrated orange wheel & pineapple leaves.

CHERRY BLOSSOM

A BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED COCKTAIL DESIGNED TO REFLECT THE MAGICAL JAPANESE CHERRY BLOSSOM SEASON.

50ml/2oz Tomatin Legacy

Barspoon cherry jam

50ml/2oz Coconut water

2ml/.1oz Orange blossom water

Stir down a barspoon of cherry jam with Tomatin Legacy before adding coconut water and a small amount of orange blossom water. Shake vigorously and then double strain into a chilled Sours glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

MIZUWARI MAC

A HYBRID SCOTTISH-JAPANESE COCKTAIL SEES THE HUMBLE WHISKY MAC SERVE COMBINED WITH THE ELEGANT AND STYLISH MIZUWARI.

50ml/2oz Tomatin Legacy

37.5ml/1.5oz Plum wine

Still mineral water

Fill half a large chilled Highball glass with cubed ice and then add the Tomatin 12 Year Old. Stir several times before adding the further ingredients with more ice, and stir once again. Garnish with a slice of fresh ginger.

For a zingy alternative swap the plum for ginger wine!

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