Meet the expert: Shilton Almeida
Shilton Almeida is a Regional Manager-Europe for Paul John Whiskies. He joined John Distilleries Pvt. Ltd. in 2012 as a sales assistant in Goa (India), before moving to the UK in 2015 to look after the European markets in his current role.
In the first episode of our Still Life podcast, Shilton discusses the past, present and future of Indian whisky. Here, we caught up with him to find how he discovered whisky and what a typical day in his job involves…
As I come from Goa – which is also called ‘the party capital of India’ – introduction to alcoholic beverages came at an early age! My background is in the hospitality industry, that’s where it all began for me. From the F&B service side to front office in Goa, I went on to the Middle East, working for five years in travel retail sales. It was in that job that I discovered whisky. Although, we could never consume or try the good stuff we sold there! In 2012, I moved into field sales when I joined Paul John whisky in Goa.
A typical day in my role would start with early morning travels to different markets for customer visits, whisky festivals, trade fairs, tastings etc. When not travelling, it would be communicating with our distributor partners in Europe as well as the Head Office in Bangalore.
Whisky wisdom: quick fire questions
First whisky you ever tasted?
Long John Blended Scotch whisky (miniatures that my father had brought from his travels… no one in the house realised how they went missing).
Best whisky you have ever tasted?
Always the one I enjoy sharing with friends. So, there are many.
Who is your ‘whisky hero’?
After a few drams, the person I see in the mirror!
Who would you most like to conduct a whisky tasting for, dead or alive?
That will be my father, who I lost 30 years ago.
Favourite distillery to visit?
Glengoyne distillery a few years back. But visiting some Islay distilleries is on top of my list.
Ultimate bottling for your collection?
A Paul John Single Cask #P1-161 (this was the inaugural release in 2012).
Favourite non-whisky drink?
Favourite whisky and food pairing?
Peated whiskies with seafood.