Beam CEO: ‘Big ambitions’ for House of Suntory

Albert Baladi is in the driving seat as Beam Suntory’s new president and CEO. He tells The Spirits Business about his ambitions to position Bourbon as the world’s foremost whisk(e)y and make his company the ‘most admired’ in the industry. *This feature was originally published in the August 2019 issue of The Spirits Business In 1795, three years after Kentucky became a US state, farmer and grain mill operator Jacob Beam filled his first barrel…

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BrewDog Distilling MD on bringing ‘punk attitude’ to Scotch

Free from the comparatively straight-laced confines of Diageo, David Gates is relishing his new role as head of BrewDog’s spirits unit. In line with the brewer’s disruptive ethos, he has big plans to shake up the Scotch world. *This feature was originally published in the February 2019 issue of The Spirits Business Every so often a game changer enters an industry and alters attitudes and behaviours forever. In the UK beer sector, that disrupter was…

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Stephen Teeling: ‘Global opportunity’ for Irish whiskey

When his family company was sold off in 2012, Stephen Teeling and his brother, Jack, set up on their own. Their decision has paid off, and Teeling Distillery has become one of the most exciting players in Irish whiskey. Stephen Teeling has whiskey in his blood. His father, John Teeling, a pioneer of the Irish whiskey revival, founded Cooley Distillery in 1987 and later reopened the Kilbeggan site. “I spent a huge part of my…

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Morris: Woodford Reserve ‘home of innovative whiskeys’

For Chris Morris, Woodford Reserve’s master distiller, doing things differently is essential. As the American whiskey boom continues, he’s keen to show just how experimental and diverse the category can be. *This feature was originally published in the December 2018 issue of The Spirits Business When Chris Morris joined Brown­-Forman 42 years ago, the US spirits group was a very different operation. Back then, the Jack Daniel’s maker was not the large international player it…

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William Grant’s Kinsman: ‘We need blended Scotch to be relevant’

William Grant & Sons may have the best-selling single malt Scotch in the world and the third-biggest blend, but everything it does comes from its independent spirit, exemplified in the work of master blender Brian Kinsman. *This feature was originally published in the September 2018 issue of The Spirits Business Off the coast of Girvan, across the waters of the Firth of Clyde, sits the famous island of Ailsa Craig. The Scottish sun is making…

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