Life as a Female Whiskey Ambassador Has its Challenges

Posted on March 4, 2019

The Whiskey Wash – March 4, 2019

Every whisky event I work, there is at least one bloviating male who explains whisky to me. Every auction, conference, and fundraiser—I stand at my booth, hired to conduct tastings, and educate the consumer on what they’re drinking. This type of man is quick to tell me what he does, but never asks about my job. He assumes he knows more about whisky than I do. Men who do not understand what I do have explained my job to me, scores of times.

This man tells me about his golf trip to Scotland. The best and most expensive whisky he’s ever had–he just can’t remember the name of it. He tells me about this really special, obscure brand I probably haven’t heard – Macallan. He tells me about the Blue Label he had at his brother-in-law’s bachelor party. He talks about what he knows, but God forbid he listens to the woman paid to be there to talk about whisky.

They always tell me whatever I’m pouring is “peaty” and they’re always wrong. That’s my personal favorite, a classic. (I want to say, Peaty? Weird. Because there is no peat used to dry the malt, and it’s not occurring in the soil or water, and it’s not in the wood. But you taste peat? Far out, bro.) He tells me he “doesn’t like scotch, just whisky” –that doesn’t even make sense, but I just smile and nod. This is part of the job. People get a little sauced and start talking nonsense, it’s cool. I don’t care if they correctly identify peat. (I care hard, but the last thing I want to do is embarrass someone who is already embarrassing themselves.) I’m just happy to get people excited about whisky. I never correct anyone when I’m representing a brand. It’s impolite. Mispronounce anything you want, interrupt me all you like, I just hope you like the whisky.

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