William Grant & Sons UK has launched its sixth annual Ian Murray Spirited Solutions Scholarship, which supports young people working in an off-trade spirits retail environment.

This year the scholarship programme, which was first launched in 2004 to celebrate the life of Prestige Retail Manager Ian Murray, is being launched on Murray’s birthday to make it “even more poignant”, according to the producer.

Jill Murray, representing Ian and the Murray family, said: “Ian was a great champion of young people, encouraging them to be the best that they can be and to not be afraid of reaching for their own ambitious dreams.

“He was also brilliant at sharing his passion for whisky and took great delight in encouraging an appreciation of it.”

Applicants are shortlisted by Ian Murray’s colleagues and Grant Family members, before one candidate – an 18 to 30 year-old working in an off-trade spirits retail environment – is selected to embark on a bespoke 12 month programme, which includes WSET Level 2 training, a presentation skills course, an educational distillery visit, and expert development of the spirits category, in particular malt whisky.

The 2018 award went to Anna Rogan (pictured above), of Luvians Bottleshop in St Andrews. She said: “The skills I have gained in the past year have been invaluable in every aspect. The WSET and Presenation Skills courses have vastly improved both my knowledge and confidence, whether I am leading a tasting or just chatting to a fellow whisky lover. I also loved having the chance to meet Ian’s wife Jill, touring Glenfiddich with her and hearing stories about Ian and his adventures in whisky. I am hugely grateful for the experience.”

For more information about The Ian Murray Spirited Solutions Scholarship, contact Hazel.Lynch@wgrant.com