The inaugural event highlighted a consensus for global co-operation to enhance whisky’s future.
Women in whisky must be taken seriously
Men working in whisky must take women seriously or risk missing a ‘significant development’ in the industry.
Speaking at the World Whisky Forum, held at Box distillery in Sweden from 9-10 February, Jasmin Haider-Stadler, director and head of marketing at Haider distillery – the first whisky distillery in Austria – broached the topic of ‘developing new whisky styles’.
During her presentation, she noted the growing number of women attending whisky exhibitions and events, as well as the number of women working across the industry – but cautioned male professionals to take them seriously, or risk missing out on important developments.
‘More females have become whisky lovers,’ she explained. ‘This is also the change we have in the whisky scene. Women have a different point of view; we often approach a subject differently and we bring news solutions in a sensitive and well-thought way.
‘Some men don’t take women in the whisky business seriously. These men, however, should be careful not to miss a significant development in the whisky business I’ve seen. And also of course among the customers.’
She continued to explain how today’s whisky drinkers are more ‘open-minded’ and the importance for distillers to move with the times, to be original and to create their own styles.
Haider-Stadler said: ‘I’ve heard things like: “Whisky must be at least 12 years old,” or: “Whisky has to come from Scotland.”
‘And when I exhibit now at the trade fair, not only are exhibitors presenting these new style whiskies, but also customers are much more [open-minded], younger and also female. So we have won a small battle against old clichés.’
A 10-minute interview with Haider-Stadler is also available to view on the World Whisky Forum website along with presentations and interviews with each of the speakers, including Ichiro Akuto and Yumi Yoshikawa of Chichibu distillery; Steven Kersley, head of the Lone Wolf distillation team; Ludo Ducrocq of William Grant & Sons; Tony Reeman-Clark of Strathearn distillery; Roger Melander of Box distillery; Matt Hofmann of Westland distillery; Kevin Abrook of William Grant & Sons; Patrick Van Zuidam of Zuidam distillers; Jota Tanaka of Kirin Brewery Co; and head of the World Whisky Forum, Jan Groth.
Additional presentations from the World Whisky Forum 2017 will also be uploaded to Scotchwhisky.com over the coming weeks.