Balvenie's Ross Blainey has been named Brand Ambassador Of The Year at the Australian Bar Awards, held in Sydney tonight.
Blainey was one of a number of whisky-focused brand ambassadors up for the award, which was dominated by representatives from spirits companies. It is the second time a William Grants & Sons whisky ambassador had won the awards in the past four years, with Richard Blanchard receiving it in 2016. Sailor Jerry spiced rum ambassador Nick Miles, also a William Grants brand since 2008, was named in 2018.
Last month Blainey answered Whisky Ardent's Proust Questionnaire, in which he said, "My whisky happiness is being somewhere with the people I care about chatting about whatever comes to mind and sharing a few drams. it could be in a bar, in a living room, around a campfire or anywhere."
Blainey has also been recognised in the annual Icons Of Whisky awards.
The 2019 shortlist featured:
Alice Newport – Pernod Ricard Les Nouveau Distillers (Jameson, Glenlivet)
Andrew ‘Hemingway’ Ratcliff – Proximo Spirits (Bushmills, Bunnahabhain)
Dan Woolley – The Exchange (Laphroaig, Suntory)
Garth Foster – Moet-Hennessy (Glenmorangie, Ardbeg)
Grazia Di Franco – Mancino Vermouth (vermouth)
Krystal Hart – Diageo (Johnnie Walker, Talisker)
Mitch Wilson – Maison Ferrand (rum, cognac)
Peter Hollands – Bacardi-Martini (Dewars, Craigellachie)
Ross Blainey – The Balvenie (Balvenie)
Tristram Lilburne-Fini – Campari Australia (Wild Turkey, Russel’s Reserve)
2018: Nick Miles, Sailor Jerry (rum)
2017: Samuel Ng, Four Pillars (gin)
2016: Richard Blanchard, William Grants & Sons (Balvenie, Glenfiddich)
2015: Sean Forsyth, Bacardi (rum)
2014: Justin Strzadala, Suntory (Yamazaki, Hibiki)
2013: Ben Davidson, Pernod-Ricard (Glenlivet, Jameson)
2012: Sebastian Reaburn, 666 Vodka (vodka)
Update 11:48pm 17/09/19: Article updated to reflect Sailor Jerry as a William Grants & Son brand.