Glenmorangie and Ardbeg’s whisky creator Dr Bill Lumsden has been honoured with a place in the Icons of Whisky Hall of Fame.
Dr Lumsden has earned praise from across the industry during his career. He was singled out for this latest accolade for his pioneering approach to whisky, deliciously evident in Glenmorangie Allta, created with wild yeast.
Global brand ambassador Karen Fullerton and Ardbeg’s latest innovative bartender education campaign were also hailed at Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky Scotland Awards.
Each year, only a select handful of people earn a place in the Hall of Fame. Dr Bill, Glenmorangie’s director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks, is renowned for pushing the boundaries of single malt, in search of evermore delicious tastes.
He was lauded for his ‘tasting contribution to the whisky industry, not just his own company but to the wider whisky world as well’, according to Whisky Magazine Editor, Rob Allanson. In particular, Dr Bill’s innovative work with wine casks was praised, alongside Glenmorangie Allta, the first Glenmorangie created with wild yeast found on the Distillery’s own barley. Released in 2019, this rich, fruity whisky opens up compelling possibilities for the future.
The accolade is the latest in a long line for Dr Bill, who marks 25 years with The Glenmorangie Company in 2020. Among others, he has been named Master Distiller of the Year an unprecedented three times by the International Whisky Competition and twice by the International Spirits Challenge. He was also named Master Distiller of the Year at the Icons of Whisky Awards in 2016.
Dr Bill, who has a PhD in biochemistry, has combined art and science in his work since he joined The Glenmorangie Company in 1995. He is renowned for his groundbreaking wood management techniques, experimentation with exceptional casks at various ages, and use of wood finishing.
Dr Bill’s success was followed by that of Karen, who was name Brand Ambassador of the Year. Karen, who has spent most of her career with the Company, was celebrated for her ‘unstinting passion for whisky’. As part of her role, she travels widely, leading tastings and masterclasses which bring the single malt whiskies’ taste alive to audiences across the world.
Ardbeg was also honoured, winning ‘Campaign Innovator of the Year’ for its Masters of Smoke bartender education programme – a first in the industry. Designed to spread the word about the “delicious possibilities” of smoke, the programme delivers in-depth training on the science of smoke, allowing bartenders to harness smoke’s power in inventive serves and in-bar experiences.
Dr Bill said: ‘It’s fantastic to see Glenmorangie and Ardbeg’s pioneering work celebrated in this. I feel honoured to be selected for the Hall of Fame and I’m delighted to see Karen’s expertise and enthusiasm celebrated. Ardbeg’s Masters of Smoke programme fully deserves to be recognised for bringing the joys of our smoky malt to life in inspiring ways.’