Celebrating whisky all over the world – even Colombia loves it

Whisky is a truly worldwide drink, and we speak to Camilo Sarmiento, co-founder and general manager, The Whisky Club, Colombia, on World Whisky Day.

I was born in Bogota, Colombia which is where I am living now, but I have lived in the United States and France, where I did my Master’s Degree and worked for Christian Dior.

Colombia is a beautiful country. People are always welcoming with a smile and happiness is spread through music and dance in every corner. Right now the country is living in a generalised social consensus to forgive a terrible past and focus on building a better country. Economics and society have already improved a great deal, so there are huge opportunities for businesses and experiences.

I have always been impressed by how such a small country in population and area like Scotland has such strong character to create global impact through its products and traditions such as whisky and golf.

I am the co-founder and CEO of Argento & Bourbon, a luxury brand of footwear for gentlemen. I am also a co-founder of The Whisky Club and I am actively involved in many whisky events and experiences in Colombia.

Whisky is very popular in Colombia but around 95% of the market is taken by blended. That’s why in The Whisky Club we believe there is a huge opportunity to show Colombian and Latin American whisky drinkers the universe of tastes and expressions that single malts can offer.

Whisky is not only a drink, it is the expression of a culture. In whisky you have all the resources of Scotland – the water, minerals, land and much more. With all this in a glass, how can you not be fascinated? It is a beautiful miracle.

I was very young the first time I tasted whisky. My father was enjoying a whisky with some of his friends. I was intrigued by the drink that made the people get together, and also how they could have many different opinions about the same bottle. In a second and when my father was not looking I took a short sip and I have enjoyed it from that day. Of course after that I had to wait until I had the legal age to drink!

The whisky club was born to share the experiences of whisky with the whole of Colombia. As well as sourcing the best whiskies, we share knowledge and ideas, allowing our customers to understand the whisky and build their own opinions.

Very soon we will be part of the country’s top luxury hotel which will be located in Cartagena, where we will have a wider range of resources to help people understand whisky better and enjoy sharing it.

My favourite whisky is the always the next one… there are more than 300 expressions so I still have many to try. Each time I try a new one I understand whisky better, which is probably part of the process of getting to know my palate.