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Charles Metcalfe appointed as Gemma Paterson’s The Balvenie Global Brand Ambassador

Charles grew up in Speyside not far from The Balvenie distillery. After leaving Gordonstoun School, he embarked on a sport coaching and science college course, but the whisky world soon pulled him in.  He started working at The Glenfiddich as Front of House in 2012 at William Grant and Sons and worked his way up through the company to become The Balvenie Distillery Ambassador and hasn’t looked back since.

Whisky connects people.  It’s a magical industry, full of warmth and humour, that brings likeminded and curious people together.  I truly believe I have the best job in the world.” said Charles.

Day to day as The Balvenie Distillery Ambassador, Charles spent his time telling The Balvenie story to distillery visitors.  These guests include tourists, media, industry peers and whisky aficionados. During Covid when tours are not allowed, he also worked closely with Gemma Paterson on hosting multiple virtual distillery experiences for global audiences.

He introduces guests to the full The Balvenie experience, leading distillery tours and tastings sessions.   He creates immersive experiences for trade and industry colleagues and is proud to be on the William Grant & Son’s Nosing Panel.  This involves nosing new make and mature whisky samples every day for quality assessment.  He was one of a team of two who won Distillery Visitor Experience of the Year 2018.

His time as The Balvenie Distillery Ambassador has seen him travel the world, learning about the whisky culture in Japan to touring the bourbon distilleries in Kentucky, U.S.A. He’s also attended some of the biggest and best whisky festivals across the world throughout the duration of his career.  He pinpoints his career highlight, as constantly feeling incredibly lucky to learn from colleagues with decades of experience.  This continuous learning curve has given him a real appreciation for whisky and its history.

In his spare time when Charles is not talking about or nosing whisky, he is an avid sports fan from playing golf, football and cricket he is either watching the games or playing in them. He is a big fan of Scottish International Rugby team, but he also supports the FC Barcelona football team because he was given a team scarf by his childhood pen pal.

From January 2022, he embarks on a new challenge, taking the reins of The Balvenie Global Ambassadorship from industry stalwart Gemma Paterson while she takes maternity leave.   It’s a career step Charles is more than ready for and can’t wait to begin. 

I’m certainly stepping into some big shoes, but Gemma and I have worked closely together over the years, so I feel intrinsically motivated to continue her stellar work.  I can’t wait to focus on some very exciting new product developments over the coming months, and hopefully return to travelling again, where I can tell The Balvenie story to more people.” said Charles.


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