InterviewProust Questionnaire

Proust Whisky Questionnaire: Daniel Hutchins-Read

Pic by May Lawrence

Daniel Hutchins-Read is a long-time brand ambassador in the Australian whisky scene and is currently the New South Wales, Queensland and ACT sales and brand ambassador for Baranow’s Emporium, one of Australia’s leading boutique import and distribution companies. He’s been the long-time face of Berry Brothers & Rudd in Australia.

Describe your job in five words

Talk, drink, sell, create, organise.

What do you appreciate most in a whisky?

Individuality. Nothing worse than a whisky trying to be like all the others.

What do you appreciate least in a whisky?

Corn. I’ve never been a bourbon fan but I’m starting to come around.

What is your most treasured whisky?

Probably the Australian exclusive Glenrothes 2003 Single Cask. This is a cask that I chose for Australia with the help of a bunch of industry friends, it was a long process to make it happen but I’m very proud of the result.

What is your favourite virtue in a whisky bar?

Passion! You can tell pretty quickly if the person serving you is passionate about the category and if they are, you’re going to have a good time.

What do you most dislike in a whisky bar?

Pretentiousness and snobbery. Self-explanatory hopefully.

If you could have any job in whisky, what would it be?

Whisky drinker. It would also be nice if this was a paid position.

What is your favourite distillery name?

Probably Tin Shed Distilling. It’s just so simple and so much the opposite of most whisky distillery names.

Who is your hero in whisky?

Ronnie Cox. He’s taught me so much of what I know from very early on and has that rare combination of extremely in-depth whisky knowledge along with the ability to convey it in an authentic, entertaining and memorable way.

What is your idea of whisky happiness?

A standing order that I should receive free samples of all independently bottled whiskies.

What phrase do you most overuse when talking about whisky?

“The best whisky is the one you like.”

When do you lie about whisky?

When I say, “The best whisky is the one you like.” Obviously, the best whisky is the Australian exclusive 2003 Glenrothes single cask.

Who or what is the love of your whisky life?

The whisky community, being all the passionate people who have become friends through the amber liquid, both consumers and trade. There’s a huge amount of amazing individuals in the whisky industry and I love them all.

What is your happiest whisky memory?

I’m sure there are many memories that were never actually recorded by my brain but if I had to choose it would likely be the night I was awarded the Australian Icons of Whisky Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador of the year, alongside a bunch of great friends also being recognised for their hard work (Joey Tai, Paul Slater, Grant Shearon, Dan Wooley, Kate Moran, too many to list!). That was a big, fun night.

What is your saddest whisky memory?

Every time I finish a bottle that can’t be replaced. It happens so often with single cask bottlings!

Who do you most admire?

Probably Dave Broom or Charlie MacLean, both people at the very top of their game and world renowned, but still super humble, personable and just good fun to be around.

Sherry cask or bourbon cask?

Sherry. I’m just a sucker for it.

If you could work at one distillery, which one would it be?


What is your greatest achievement?

Convincing someone to pay me to work with whisky.

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