EWA Alumni: Stuart Baxter
What attracted you to the Diploma in Single Malt Whisky?
I had been looking for a way to break into the wonderful world of whisky and, as it happens, a lot of people want to do the same. Despite working in bars and restaurants for a long period of time, I wanted to stand out and show that I was a serious candidate. Therefore, I did my research and discovered EWA and felt it was the perfect platform to help push me forward.
What aspects of the Diploma did you find most enjoyable?
The engagement with other classmates and the presentation of the courses. Meeting everyone on the course was brilliant, people from completely different walks of life and with different levels of knowledge and the course did well to make everyone feel comfortable and engage with one another. Secondly, the courses themselves are well written and organised with great attention to detail.
How did the Diploma prepare you for your current role?
After completing the Diploma, I actually took a job with Pernod Ricard in India as their Malts Ambassador, handling Sri Lanka, Nepal and India. The diploma gave me much more confidence in my whisky knowledge and allowed me to provide the relevant information to our team and customers when required.
What advice would you give someone looking to get into the whisky industry?
Don’t take yourself too seriously. The whisky industry is a very competitive yet wonderful industry to be in and this is because of the people that make it up. It is an international community of talented individuals that are always there to support one another an offer advice when needed.
Whisky wisdom: quick fire questions
First whisky you ever tasted?
Best whisky you have ever tasted?
The next one.
Who is your ‘whisky hero’?
I have always had massive admiration for Charles MacLean.
Who would you most like to conduct a whisky tasting for, dead or alive?
Harrison Ford, no question.
Favourite distillery to visit?
Being my first dram and just next to my home, Glengoyne.
Ultimate bottling for your collection?
XOP Platinum Port Ellen 35 Year Old.
Favourite non-whisky drink?
Favourite whisky and food pairing?
Rock Island and Oysters.