Andrew Derbidge is the Australian Cellarmaster of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and is also heavily involved with the Gillies Club. A stalwart of the local industry, he is a wealth of knowledge on whisky and the industry – a lot of which you can read over at his website Whisky & Wisdom.
Describe your job in five words
Managing stock and hosting events.
What do you appreciate most in a whisky?
A complex and interesting nose.
What do you appreciate least in a whisky?
What is your most treasured whisky?
A special Glenfarclas that was presented to me by the distillery.
What is your favourite virtue in a whisky bar?
A quiet corner where you can hear yourself think and chat with your mates.
What do you most dislike in a whisky bar?
If you could have any job in whisky, what would it be?
I reckon I’ve already got it!
What is your favourite distillery name?
Who is your hero in whisky?
Too hard to pick just one! Bill Lumsden, Jim McEwan, and Ian McWilliam.
What is your idea of whisky happiness?
Sitting with a bunch of mates and enjoying some quality drams together. When that takes place in Scotland, even better!
What phrase do you most overuse when talking about whisky?
“Single cask, cask-strength, single malt.” (It’s an SMWS thing!)
When do you lie about whisky?
When telling my wife how much my latest purchase cost.
Who or what is the love of your whisky life?
Anything or anyone associated with Glenfarclas gets my love.
What is your happiest whisky memory?
Not sure about happiest, but one of my most special memories was standing inside the kiln at Bowmore when they were peating and being surrounded by the fragrant smoke. My clothes and I reeked of peat, and I didn’t want to shower or wash my clothes!
What is your saddest whisky memory?
Finishing my bottle of Black Bowmore.
Who do you most admire?
Arrgghh, so many. Let’s go with Bill Lumsden.
Sherry cask or bourbon cask?
Sherry. Each day of the week and twice on Sundays.
If you could work at one distillery, which one would it be?
Glenfarclas on the mainland; Bowmore on Islay.
What is your greatest achievement?
My liver somehow survived the 2003 Australian Malt Whisky Convention.