Global Grant’s Ambassador Danny Dyer is all kinds of amazing. From his bubbly personality to the way he passionately talks about Grant’s Whisky to the way he loves to immerse himself into the different cultures he comes across as he travels all over the world.
I had a lovely conversation with him about his love for whisky, the refresh of the Grant’s brand and why he thinks Kenyans are some of the most fun-loving people he’s met so far:
We can start by telling me who you are and what you do?
I’m Danny Dyer and I’m the global brand ambassador for Grant’s Whisky and what I do is quite the loaded question. Sometimes I’m an event planner, other times I’m a teacher for bartenders, sometimes I’m a host – I’m a little bit of everything and that’s what global ambassadors do. I also get to travel the world and talk all things Grants.
How long have you been the brand ambassador and how has it been?
This is now my 11th month, I started the job in January this year.
It’s been quite the experience as you saw from the launch and FYI, Kenyans know how to PARTY! 😎
My time so far as an ambassador has been a life affirming and very educational journey with some really big highs and really big lows. There’s a lot of travel involved and knowing my love for sleep, I have to sneak in a few naps here and there; but its been life changing gettimg to see and take in the different drinking cultures all around the world.
When did your love for whisky start?
It started when i was 18. I had a really really bad experience with it after I ‘borrowed’ a bottle from my dad’s cabinet when I was 16 and I was ill for days. The feeling stuck with me and I didn’t want to see or smell whisky for a while.
Fast forward to when i turned 18 and I went looking for a job in a distillery (because I love money) and I told them I didn’t like whisky but they hired me anyway (for some weird reason). My boss Dennis then sat me down for one hour with a glass of whisky in front of me and talked to me about its history, how to smell it, how to taste it, the way the tongue works with the different palettes and I fell in love with everything about whisky after understanding and appreciating the process that goes into making it.
How exactly does one taste whisky?
The first thing I say is, it’s your palette, it’s your drink and it’s your choice to decide how you want to drink it, be it with ice, ginger soda or coke.
Personally, the first thing I do when I pour it in the glass is I let it sit for a while because it’s a living growing thing and when the air starts to come in and the oils start to move so it needs a little bit of time to relax. After I’ve done that, I smell it. Why I do this is Grants is at least 3 years going into the drink, thats 25 different malts and a lot of different flavours working together so the longer it sits in the glass, the better the flavours sync.
For my first taste, I usually tend to keep it in my mouth for a little bit for it to coat my whole palette. It tends to give me a little bit of heat up my nose and it makes my eyes water a little bit but once you’ve done this and have taken the time to appreciate it, it gives you a whole new experience.
What’s your favorite way of drinking whisky?
It honestly changes a lot and I think its because palettes tend to change as well. I can go from drinking whisky straight when I’m back home in Scotland – it’s very cold there so i like the warmth it gives you – to putting some water or ice or coke when i’m traveling.
You have over 10 years of experience in the whisky business, what can you say has changed in this industry?
There’s a lot that has changed. For example, back at home, single malts are a really big thing as compared to blends like Grant’s but that’s starting to change. I think the big difference is when I used to work in distilleries, people would always ask how old is the drink and where is the drink from but age doesn’t really matter anymore. A lot more distilleries have noticed that older doeant mean better and the fact that a drink isn’t expensive doesn’t mean its bad.
Another change I’ve loved seeing is how there are many more females in the industry which is how it should be because women have a better nose and palette than men so they can smell better and taste better
Your visit here coincides with the refresh of the brand. What does this mean for the consumers?
It’s a huge change but it’s also a subtle change. It essentially wants to show that we as the consumers of Grant’s are loud and proud to have such a brand. From the way the name ‘Grant’s’ has been embedded on the bottle, makes one feel like they are proud to show that they are in fact taking the drink.
The triangular shape was made by a German designer, the same guy who did the London under grants designed the bottle and the three points have a few stories behind them. My favourite is where one point symbolizes barley, one point symbolizes water and the other point is for the Scottish air. So when we put our whisky into the barrels, it’s the Scottish air that breathes into our whisky.
Some people say the triangular shape is there so that you naturally hold on to the bottle, which doesn’t happen as naturally with a circular bottle. I also say that the triangle is essential for keeping the bottle in place and you kinda don’t want to let it go because of its firm grip. I mean you can even take the bottle to bed and put it under your pillow and it won’t roll away, quite nifty huh?
Most people don’t have the best experience with whisky? Why do you think this is and what can you say about this?
Many people have a bad experience with whisky then tend to shy away from it. My advice would be go back to it and take your time with it and you might just fall in love with it like I did.