TALKING HEADS

19 October, 2007

Fraser Gilchrist

Robert Graham,

Edi

nburgh

If you were a whisky, what would you be?

A 1967 Killyloch. To date it's the only whisky my wife has ever enjoyed and if I were anything else she would leave the room as soon as I entered.

When you're not working, how do you seek your thrills?

My spare time is always spent with family and friends - coffees, bowling, cinema, lunches. It might not be thrilling to an outsider but it is very important to me to keep up

with those I'm close to.

If your profits doubled tomorrow, how would you spend the money?

Well it wouldn't be mine to spend but I'd sure as heck try to talk the shareholders into using it to reward my brilliant staff who doubled profits in 24 hours.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise your friends.

How hard I have to work on my annual junkets to Cuba and the Dominican Republic. They just don't understand that mojitos can't drink themselves.

Is there such a thing as an irresponsible drink?

Any cocktail where you have to take a breath between reading the ingredients and any drink

preceded with: "I really shouldn't."

Should whisky producers be focusing more attention on fans at home?

I don't think expanding into foreign markets is a bad thing as that

could fuel

the industry in Scotland. I do think more distilleries should follow Bruichladdich's lead by making a release available exclusively to the independent domestic market though. Stroke of genius .

If you could be reincarnated, would you still work in the drinks industry?

I would refuse reincarnation if it were possible. Do you really think I would give up my angel's share of all Scotland's whisky? We must have the highest population density of angels of any country and I doubt any of them would come back down without a fight.

Marmite, love it or hate it?

I have always said that Laphroaig is the Marmite of whisky but, to be honest, I love Laphroaig and hate Marmite, so maybe that comparison isn't the greatest.




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Lifting the spirits

I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
total a

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