Our Whisky Shop Staff

Alex Huskinson, shop manager

When did you start working at The Whisky Exchange?
January 2007.

When you’re not drinking whisky, what are you drinking?
Depends on the time of day, what I’m eating, the time of year. I don’t drink beer, but apart from that, I’m open to anything.

Desert-island dram?
Clynelish 1972 34yo from Single Malts of Scotland. It has the classic Clynelish waxiness and fabulous fruit as well as a really interesting smokiness; my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

What’s the most interesting you’ve learned about whisky since you’ve joined?
Age and maturity are not necessarily linked. A lesson I have taken into all aspects of my life.

Favourite cocktail?
The next one, because it’s the next one (I love all well-made cocktails).

Chris Bolton, senior assistant manager

When did you start working at The Whisky Exchange?
August 2006. A brief sojourn to head office in 2009, before returning to a management role in the shop.

When you’re not drinking whisky, what are you drinking?
In the summer, a whisky highball. Year round, though, beer. Not so keen on super-hoppy IPAs, more likely to go for a well-made German wheat beer or a good old-fashioned pint of bitter.

Desert-island dram?
Benriach 1968.

What’s the most interesting you’ve learned about whisky since you’ve joined?
There are more than 20 million casks of whisky maturing in Scotland.

Favourite cocktail?
Blood and Sand. One of the first cocktails I ever tried, in The Hide Bar on Bermondsey Street, London. It was also the first time I had a cocktail with Antica Formula in it – a revelation.

Duncan Ross, assistant manager

When did you start working at The Whisky Exchange?
August 2007.

When you’re not drinking whisky, what are you drinking?
Gin (in cocktails), due to its versatility, plus the occasional ale.

Desert-island dram?
Ardbeg 1974 Provenance. Smoky heaven.

What’s the most interesting you’ve learned about whisky since you’ve joined?
There is always something new happening.

Favourite cocktail?
G&T – so many gins to try!

David Walters, assistant manager

When did you start working at The Whisky Exchange?
April 2014.

When you’re not drinking whisky, what are you drinking?
Wine. It’s hard to get bored with a category that includes still wine, Champagne and sherry. Plus, I bought too much in my previous jobs.

Desert-island dram?
Karuizawa 1984. One of the finest whiskies I have ever tasted, plus it’s my birth year, too.

What’s the most interesting you’ve learned about whisky since you’ve joined?
Whisky doesn't mature in the bottle. So, if I keep a 10-year-old whisky for 30 years, it will still taste like a 10-year-old whisky. That’s hard to get my head around after working in wine…

Favourite cocktail?
Old Fashioned. The ingredients are simple and I always have the main ingredient to make one.

Mariella Romano, sales assistant

When did you start working at The Whisky Exchange?
February 2014.

When you’re not drinking whisky, what are you drinking?
Beer. It’s my second choice when I’m drinking with others.

Desert-island dram?
Lagavulin 21yo. I love its elegance, balance and the floral touch. It’s like peat dressed up in a designer suit.

What’s the most interesting you’ve learned about whisky since you’ve joined?
There is always something new to discover every day – the world of whisky is growing so fast.

Favourite cocktail?
Negroni. Strong, powerful, fresh, bitter – everything I want from a cocktail!

Hector Miles, sales assistant

When did you start working at The Whisky Exchange?
February 2010.

When you’re not drinking whisky, what are you drinking?
Rum, gin, Tequila, mezcal or absinthe. Why? I'll go with Doug Stanhope on this one. I’m Hector Miles, and that's why I drink.

Desert-island dram?
Brora 1972 22 year old Rare Malts. All the best bits of whisky for me. Waxy, coastal, zesty, stone fruit and subtle smoke with an oily mouthfeel and a finish that lasts forever. The big question is, if this is a desert-island dram, can I request it in a Nebuchadnezzar bottle?

What’s the most interesting you’ve learned about whisky since you’ve joined?
How funny it makes me at parties.

Favourite cocktail?
Manhattan, because it’s timeless and ticks all of my boxes…plus it’s the only cocktail that I love finishing down to the cherry.

Ed Bates, sales assistant

When did you start working at The Whisky Exchange?
May 2011.

When you’re not drinking whisky, what are you drinking?
Cognac and Armagnac. They take up most of my drinking and working time away from TWE.

Desert-island dram?
So hard! But if I had to pick just one, it would be the first release of 2005 Berry Bros & Rudd Ledaig. It really proves that older is not better.

What’s the most interesting you’ve learned about whisky since you’ve joined?
Just how much obscure stuff Duncan knows.

Favourite cocktail?
The Boulevardier. Combines the lightness of a Negroni with the spicy punch of a Manhattan. And it’s very easy to make.

Fern Bryan, sales assistant

When did you start working at The Whisky Exchange?
November 2013.

When you’re not drinking whisky, what are you drinking?
Beer – there’s so many kinds!

Desert-island dram?
Clynelish 23yo Rare Malts. I tried it at Duncan’s Magnificent Seven tasting and I just fell in love.

What’s the most interesting you’ve learned about whisky since you’ve joined?
Just how much casks affect whisky.

Favourite cocktail?
Gin and tonic – simple but easily varied.

Alyona Petrik, sales assistant

When did you start working at The Whisky Exchange?
April 2014.

When you’re not drinking whisky, what are you drinking?
Pálinka, of course – and pretty much anything else. Belgian beers, vodka and aged rums are particular favourites of mine and apart from ciders, I haven’t yet had any particular drink I’ve absolutely hated.

Desert-island dram?
Kilchoman Loch Gorm. Has just the right balance of sweet and smoky to keep me hydrated. Only problem is, it wouldn’t last long.

What’s the most interesting you’ve learned about whisky since you’ve joined?
The story of the drunk cows of Banff is pretty cool, but I think there never being Batches 1 to 26 of Monkey Shoulder takes this one.

Favourite cocktail?
All of them deserve equal loving, because well-made cocktails are amazing.

Hester Boyce, sales assistant

When did you start working at The Whisky Exchange?
August 2014.

When you’re not drinking whisky, what are you drinking?
Beer – Iambics, sours and anything by Lagunitas. I love their big, bold, hoppy american style. All their beers pour with a big sturdy head, and are generally finished before it has had time to dissipate.

Desert-island dram?
The Last Vatted Malt. An incredible marriage of Islay and Speyside character, with a delightfully long finish. I could drink, and more importantly enjoy this whisky in any mood. Delicious.

What’s the most interesting you’ve learned about whisky since you’ve joined?
The story of the stills at Old Pulteney.

Favourite cocktail?
Rosita – well balanced and dangerously refreshing.