The Tasting Panel magazine

January 2014

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still is not an option. Bar portfolios are by nature dynamic, and WGS has to continuously reinvent itself to stay relevant, just as it did in the 1990s when the decision was made to expand beyond whisky. "I call it 'investing for the future.' We must be open to new opportunities and potential expansions. At the same time, we can never forget what made us what we are. We care most about the quality inside each bottle." Ted Roman, SVP Sales, believes that WGS's Core Brands are actually underdeveloped in the U.S. "There's plenty of room for growth, particularly on-premise. I include our single malts in this statement but also brands such as Sailor Jerry Rum, Milagro Tequila, and Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey." Innovation Brands also show lots of traction, particularly via off-premise sales, and Roman thinks they'll eventually be the engine of WGS's growth. "Reyka, Monkey Shoulder, Solerno – we try to place them in more markets each and every day." He loves being able to directly impact brand health. "There's not a lot of bureaucracy here so each actor can put a signature on the process." A Chip off the Old Block Yusen will be at the helm for 2014's 50th anniversary of WGS's American division. "We were founded in the U.S. by Charles Gordon, a direct descendant of William Grant. We're still family run, dedicated to legacy, pride, craft and a pioneering spirit. All of that is as true today as it was in 1886. We build our brand drink-bydrink, outlet-by-outlet, barpersonby-barperson, retailer-by-retailer." He treasures the fact that any team member can impact success. "Our culture encourages excellence." As a result of its founders' passion and authenticity and current management's continuance of those ethics, WGS is quickly solidifying its status as a highly coveted portfolio of premium spirits brands by consumers, bartenders and retailers alike. By constantly progressing, increasing investment, seeking out new markets and sticking to roots while refusing to be constrained by them, this company seems destined to prosper far into the future. Recipes for All Occasions With a diverse portfolio that brings everything you'll need to the backbar, there's always room for recipes like these on your list: Ancho Margarita ◗ ¾ oz. Ancho Reyes ◗ 1½ oz. Milagro Silver Tequila ◗ 1 oz. fresh lime juice ◗ ½ oz. agave nectar ◗ 2 lime wedges The Freshest Margarita ◗ 2 oz. Milagro Silver ◗ 1 oz. lime juice ◗ ¾ oz. agave nectar ◗ 1 lime wheel ◗ Pour all ingredients into a shaker over ice, ◗ Use one lime wedge to wet the rim of an Old Fashioned glass, then salt the edge and set aside. Combine all liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake and double-strain over fresh ice into a glass. Garnish with the other lime wedge. Hendrick's Gin & Tonic ◗ 1 oz. Hendrick's Gin ◗ 4 oz. tonic water ◗ 1 cucumber slice shake well and strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with lime wheel. The Perfect Manhattan ◗ 2 oz. Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey ◗ ½ oz. Lillet Rouge ◗ ½ oz. dry vermouth ◗ 2 dashes of orange bitters ◗ Lemon twist for garnish ◗ Stir ingredients with ice and strain into a ◗ Fill a tall glass with ice, add ingredients and glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. gently stir. Garnish with a cucumber slice. Bringing Brands to Life: Charlotte Voisey WGS President & Managing Director Jonathan Yusen believes that the personal nature of Brand Ambassadorship is crucial, and Portfolio Ambassador Charlotte Voisey couldn't agree more. Voisey, who mentors the U.S. Ambassador team and represents the portfolio at events and speaking engagements, says that her Brand Ambassadors are WGS's rising stars. "They have a lot of responsibility, relates Voisey, "especially when it comes " to shepherding our growth brands and creating innovation. Of course, there is the impeccable quality of the liquid in the bottle. But with a foundation of proven, category leaders, these passionate people help our founding family steer the company toward the future. " WGS grows its Ambassador team by recruiting experts and developing the talent it already has. "We have such a dynamic group, says Voisey, "and " each person has so much more to give. From the eloquence of Lorne Cousin on The Balvenie to the clever, infectious energy of Freddy May on Monkey Shoulder, the range of personality and skills on our Ambassador team is exceeded only by the quality and potential of our brands. " Voisey joined WGS as a Glenfiddich Ambassador eight years ago, quickly became the company's first Hendrick's Gin Ambassador and, as the team grew, stepped seamlessly into her role as Portfolio Ambassador. "There's a common theme among Brand Ambassadors. Best thing about the job: all the travel. Worst thing about the job: all the travel. There really is very little downside to the work, aside from time away from home and family and friends. But we are afforded once in a lifetime experiences on a very regular basis. " january 2014  /  the tasting panel  /  55 TP0114_034-65.indd 55 12/19/13 9:28 PM

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