William Grant & Sons Appoint John Wayte As Monkey Shoulder UK Brand Ambassador

John Wayte

Independent family distillers, William Grant & Sons UK has today confirmed that John Wayte will take on the role of UK brand ambassador for Monkey Shoulder.

As the face of the UK’s most exciting Scotch whisky, John’s role will see him support Monkey Shoulder’s continued growth and take it to a wider audience than ever before. He will work extensively in the brand’s on-trade heartland alongside Global Brand Ambassador Joe Petch and bartenders across the UK to affirm Monkey Shoulder’s position as the world’s top trending Scotch.

John’s wealth of experience has included previous ambassador work in Poland where he built brand awareness and advocacy, and delivered brand stories to the on-trade, consumers and the media.

John Wayte commented: “It is a huge honour to be joining such an exciting and dynamic brand. Monkey Shoulder is a whisky I have always admired and one that has never been afraid to break with convention. It’s great to be part of a team with such a passion for Scotch and with a very exciting vision for the brand.”

Asmita Singh, Senior Brand Manager said: “John’s energy and enthusiasm for the industry combined with awesome interests such as filmmaking and extreme sports make him the perfect fit to break down preconceptions of scotch whisky. I am excited to see his open approach in action with bartenders and consumers to bring even more cocktail lovers into the cheeky world of Monkey Shoulder.”

Follow John’s Monkey Shoulder journey on Instagram @_barmonkey.

Spirit Cartel Announces New Hitman For The Bourbon Turf War

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For the past two months, the Spirit Cartel family, runners of fine liqueur, have been engrossed in the search for a bourbon don with the right balance of whisky parlance & cocktail shaking.

And they’ve found him; Benji Purslow has been named the face of cult bourbon brand Four Roses in the UK. The passionate whiskey aficionado impressed the judges in a hard-fought battle at the southern soul sanctuary, The Blues Kitchen in Shoreditch, London. Each of the four worthy competitors were put through their paces to exhibit their passion and knowledge to establish why they deserve to be initiated into the Four Roses and Spirit Cartel lineage.

Judging the contest was JJ Goodman, founder of the legendary London Cocktail Club, Charles Marshall, Spirit Cartel Consiglieri and David Hood, newly appointed Capo di Capo at Spirit Cartel.

Charles Marshall said of the competition: “The quality of the finalists made it a very difficult decision for the judges to choose the ultimate winner. Benji stood out from the competition with his captivating persona as well as in-depth knowledge, ability to communicate and enthusiasm for all things bourbon. Welcome to the Four Roses & Spirit Cartel family! As this shows, we like to do things differently at Spirit Cartel, and this has allowed us to see just how much talent there is in the UK bar community.”

Benji has worked in the London cocktail scene since 2007 and has travelled the world to compete in bartender competitions with bourbon being Benji’s choice of poison. His exceptional skills in cocktail creativity, bar training, consulting, presenting and bar management has culminated in him part owning celebrated bar Victory Mansion in Stoke Newington.

This role will see Benji host consumer and trade events across the country to take Four Roses to its rightful position at the go-to and must-drink bourbon in the finest bars in the UK.

Commenting on his new position, Benji Purslow says: “Four Roses bourbon is a brand steeped in heritage and craftsmanship and I’m absolutely delighted to have won the chance to play a key part in the brand’s exciting bourbon journey in the UK. Working together with the rest of the team at Spirit Cartel, it’s game-on to make Four Roses the most desirable bourbon in the UK and the quality of the spirit makes that job so much easier!”

Charles Marshall adds: “We love what we do at Spirit Cartel; we see ourselves as the smiling assassins of the spirits world and are confident that Benji will have as much fun engaging the trade with Four Roses and its iconic story as we do.”

As well as receiving a contract to work with the winning combination of Spirit Cartel and Four Roses, Benji has also been invited to take an unforgettable trip to the Four Roses Distillery in Kentucky, USA, later this year.

Emporia Brands Appoint New Staritsky & Levitsky UK Brand Ambassador

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Emporia Brands are proud to announce that Staritsky & Levitsky, the first super-premium vodka produced and distilled in the birthplace of grain vodka, Ukraine, has appointed Dainius Kazlauskas as its UK Brand Ambassador. Working with Emporia Brands, the vodka brands UK distributor, Dainius will be touring the UK over the coming months, visiting Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and London amongst others, and showing off a variety of unique serves of the Ukraine expressions including Staritsky & Levitsky Reserve, Private Cellar and Distil No.9.

The Lithuanian has been within the UK bar scene since 2004, and has worked at some of London’s best including National Café, Casino at the Empire, Cinnamon Soho, Bison Bar at Home House and Pachamama Bar and Grill Peruvian Restaurant in Marylebone.

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Staritsky & Levitsky was founded by a group of vodka enthusiasts, passionate about reviving the heritage and traditions of authentic, small batch vodka distillation in the historic birthplace of the vodka production. After years of field trips, tastings and recipe research in the geographic “vodka belt” of Europe, they found the perfect place for their venture in the city of Lviv, in Ukraine, close to the Polish border and the protected Carpathian mountains with their crystal clear water wells, and with access to Ukraine’s black soil, which produces unique grains for distillation.

 

 

They craft all their spirits from single grain Ukrainian wheat, which is distilled five times in traditional copper stills before being filtered twice through charcoal and twice through rhinestone. The resulting vodka rests for an extensive time to gain its delicate balance and maturity.

Staritsky & Levitsky is already being enjoyed at some of London’s premium venues including Novikov and Mahiki, as well as supporting Cocktails in the City and on the shelf at Master of Malt, The Drink Shop, Gerry’s and Hedonism Wines.