Well, this is a treat. This week #what3whiskies brings to you Dawn Davies. The fact I even managed to get Dawn to take five minutes to be involved is going on my list of lifetime achievements!! For those who don’t know Dawn, she can be found working for The Whisky Exchange as head buyer, but also, and far more animatedly as lead events organiser for such events as The Whisky Show. She is an absolute whirlwind of energy, fun and quite honestly I truly believe she has cloned herself as she seems to be one of the busiest people in the industry with her ability to work and play equally as hard! So, pour a drink, settle in and meet Dawn….
Dawn, for those who have yet to witness your ability to create amazing spirits events, could you tell us how are you involved with the whisky industry?
I have been in the drinks industry for over 20 years. First in wine and restaurants and
then into retail working as the head buyer for Selfridges wines and spirits department.
For the last 8 years I have been the head buyer for the Whisky Exchange working
across all the drinks categories but of course with Whisky at the heart of what we do.
I also have the privilege to head up the events team who run some of the best drinks
shows in the UK including The Whisky Show.
So, today we focus on whisky, lets hear your first whisky, and why you have chosen it: Compass Box Hedonism.
When I first joined Selfridges and started to really learn about whisky Compass Box
was one of the first brands I really tried. I came into whisky with no preconceptions
and to me Hendonism was this beautiful explosion of sweet fruit and soft spices. I
didn’t realize that grain whiskies were seen as ‘lesser’ whiskies by many and still to
this day do not understand those that snub the great blended whiskies and grain
whiskies out there. Not only are they full of wonderful flavours when you find the good ones but also they are a great stepping stone into whisky as a category and
even aged spirits full stop.
And your second choice, and why you have chosen it: Thomson Manuka
Smoke Single Malt. The favourite part of my job is discovering new producers and
new trends and right now world whiskies are on fire. Scotch is getting more
expensive and people are becoming more adventurous so are turning to different
parts of the world to discover new flavours. The wonderful Dave Broom introduced
me to Thompsons and I haven’t looked back. They are from New Zealand and are
using Manuka wood to smoke the barley creating this wonderfully aromatic spirit.
Their whiskies are beautifully crafted and have a real elegance to them and are
definitely my bet to be the whisky that puts New Zealand on the map.
Ooh, will keep an eye out for them! And now, your final dram, and why you have chosen it: New Riff Kentucky Straight Rye – I like my whisky full of fruit but with attitude whether its cask strength, peated or just an explosion of flavour like this Rye from New Riff a relatively new kid on the block in the USA who is doing some amazing things with this tricky grain.
Jeff the master distiller here is also all about the yeast and this is sadly another thing I
am very passionate about. Most people focus on oak and age as the major flavour
provider but these amazing little cells can really affect the flavour of the final spirit
and should be given more love. I think rye whiskies have an exciting time ahead of
them as more people get to know them.
Now, if you want to know more about Dawn (and you should!!) you can follow her exploits here:
Dawndaviesmw – instagram
Company website: http://www.thewhiskyexchange.com /www.whiskyshow.com