The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 35 of 149

IN THE BIZ Measures of Success ACCOMPLISHED MUSICIAN, FORMER WILLIAM GRANT AMBASSADOR AND NOW WHISK(E)Y SOMMELIER HEATHER GREENE ENVISIONS A NEW CERTIFICATION PROCESS story and photo by Fred Minnick W Heather Greene. hen I wrote my upcoming book, Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch & Irish Whiskey, I wrote it with women like Heather Greene in mind. Like many women in whiskey, she's faced the boy's club en route to leaving her successful three-album music career behind. And it's time she receives credit for her influence on whisky. The whiskey phenom finished up her European tour promoting her last album, Sweet Otherwise, and realized music was just not the way to go anymore. "I had been really successful in music—and that is a feat— but I knew that there would be more I wanted to do in life," Greene says. While in Scotland, she fell in love with whisky and joined the Scotch Malt Whisky Society as a tasting panelist. Her super palate quickly caught the attention of the big brands, and the recruiters started calling. In 2007, Greene was named the U.S. Brand Ambassador for Glenfiddich and received Whisky Magazine's American Young Ambassador of the Year award in 2009. For many, the brand ambassadorship is the pinnacle of this industry's cool jobs; you get to travel, meet fun people and receive a lot of attention in the press for what you do. But Greene wanted a different pace. When Tommy Tardie, owner of Manhattan's Flatiron Room, hired her in 2012 as his "Whiskey Sommelier," he told Greene the Flatiron Room would be different from the corporate lifestyle she'd been accustomed to. Now, Tardie, a former nightclub owner, is thanking his lucky stars she took the job. "I couldn't run the place without her," he says. Since taking on the Flatiron Room, Greene has implemented New York's top whisk(e)y education program, with her "Whiskey School," attracting bankers, executives and just about everybody else. More importantly, Greene is in the beginning stages of creating a true whisk(e)y sommelier certification program. With all whisk(e)y categories growing and with no end in sight, it's time whisk(e)y trade professionals have something similar to the Court of Master Sommeliers. "I'm looking at tasting flights, blind tasting flight options across a couple of price points, food pairings, cocktail rules with whiskey and the ABCs of it all," she says of the certification. I can't wait. A world with certified whisk(e)y sommeliers will be a better place! 34  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2013 TP0713_034-65.indd 34 6/24/13 5:39 PM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - July 2013