Interview

Island destination

We send some of the whisky world’s great and good to a desert island; what will they chose to take?
By Rob Allanson
Lizzie Stewart made waves in the Scotch Whisky industry when she broke the mould to become Scotland’s first female operator in malt distilling – a role that had been traditionally male-dominated.

She first started her career at Dalwhinnie Distillery in 1987, following in the footsteps of both her mother and brother, and throughout her service worked in various capacities including in the warehouse filling casks, in the mash house overseeing mashing and fermentation, and in the still house creating Dalwhinnie’s famous spirit. Along with a spell showing visitors around the distillery as a tour guide.

In March 2018, after 31 years with Diageo and since she made headlines as Scotland’s first female operator, she hung up her overalls for retirement.

In recognition of her dedicated service and iconic role in the Scotch whisky history books, Diageo marked the occasion with the launch of a new exclusive distillery bottling aptly entitled ‘Lizzie’s Dram’.

 

Whisky #1



Dalwhinnie

Distillers Edition

I’m extremely proud to have been part of the team at Dalwhinnie for more than 30 years, and the Dalwhinnie Distillers Edition is a great single malt for lovers of Dalwhinnnie who will appreciate the way the fragrance of Oloroso overlays the classic heather honey notes. The satisfaction of knowing that I had a hand in creating this lovely, smooth, award-winning malt just makes me enjoy it even more.


Whisky #2



Lagavulin

16 Year Old

This Lagavulin malt embodies all you’d expect from Islay Scotch, with powerful smokey, peaty flavours which capture the surrounding landscape perfectly. This is a great Scotch to enjoy on a cold winter’s night, in front of the log fire with a good book, but should I ever find myself castaway on an exotic desert island, I’m sure it’ll taste just as good sitting by a makeshift campfire.


Whisky #3



The Oban range – any of them!


I have relations in the area, so these lovingly-matured Highland malts hold great memories for me. When we’d visit family in Oban, we’d often take the opportunity to enjoy a dram together, its saltiness always depicting the seaside town perfectly for me. The warming richness I taste as I drink these single malts are coupled with the comforting nostalgic thoughts of spending time with loved ones.


Whisky #4



Johnnie Walker

Black Label

When I think back to my childhood, I always remember that my father enjoyed nothing more than a dram of Johnnie Walker, but it had to be Black Label, nothing else would do! Now I understand why. As I got older and began to explore whisky, I too discovered the silky complexity of this blended Scotch and can appreciate why it’s one of the most iconic Scotch whiskies in the world. Using around 40 well put together whiskies, what’s not to like? I’ve heard it’s one of whisky critic Jim Murray’s favourite blends too.


Whisky #5



Johnnie Walker

Red Label

I have loved every moment of my time working in the Scotch whisky industry, and throughout the years, Johnnie Walker Red Label has always been one of my favourites. Its sophisticated, smokey finish is the signature of all of the Johnnie Walker blends and today, it’s the world’s most popular whisky with six bottles sold every second. I’m sure it would help me make me some new friends or even evade capture if I were to bump into anyone while being on the desert island.


A little luxury



I enjoy listening to music and it can have such a positive effect on your mood; with the power to calm you, distract you or even get you excited about the day ahead, so I’d want my iPod with me. It would be full of music, everything from traditional Scottish music to the latest pop songs.