Struan Grant Ralph, global brand ambassador of Glenfiddich, on whisky, Asian consumers and more

By Justin Harper

Glenfiddich also partnered with Mr Porter in late 2021 to create a limited edition luxury whisky.

A lot can be learnt from a whisky maker with an illustrious history under its belt. Glenfiddich, the world’s most awarded single malt scotch whisky, has recently inspired Mr. Porter, a globally revered men’s fashion platform, to dip its arm into the world of fine spirits. The outcome? The creation of a highly exclusive luxury whisky limited to just 1,500 bottlings worldwide. Collaborations such as this don’t come by often, so we spoke with the global brand ambassador of Glenfiddich, Struan Grant Ralph, to discover his passion for whisky and the opportunities that come with it.

What does your job entail as the global brand ambassador of Glenfiddich?

I am the link between our brand home in Speyside and all our Glenfiddich enthusiasts around the world, my job is to bring our brand stories to life in new and innovative ways.

How has it been affected by the pandemic and lack of travel?

The job changed from being truly global before the pandemic with almost constant travel, to being truly local with a lot more time spent at home. I am fortunate to live at our distillery which has meant a great opportunity to spend more time with our whisky makers and to bring our distillery to life virtually with live tours conducted online.

So, what is it about Glenfiddich that sets it apart from other whiskies?

134 years of independent family ownership have shaped Glenfiddich into the world’s most awarded single malt that it is today. Each generation has dedicated themselves to the maverick pursuit of perfection at our home in Scotland, resulting in an incredible range of whiskies.

Which countries that you have visited stand out for their love of Glenfiddich?

I started my career with Glenfiddich based in Malaysia, I was impressed by the way our whisky could be paired with the incredible cuisine, and Malaysians love to eat! I also love to visit Japan as they have great interest and respect for the stories of legendary whisky makers, and the story of William Grant our founder and his legacy really resonates there.

How does the Asian market differ from others?

I think Asian whisky consumers really appreciate authenticity and quality, they truly appreciate luxury. I think whisky drinking occasions are different in Asia, with far more celebratory moments spent out in the on-trade, while many markets in the world are off-trade dominated.

Can you talk more about this first-ever collaboration with online platform Mr Porter?

Glenfiddich by Mr Porter was a great collaboration of two true mavericks who have found their success by constantly pushing boundaries and innovating to define their categories. The final whisky was the result of the symbiosis between their creative director, our Malt Master and myself, all working together to create a unique new whisky.

Could the end product become a collector’s item and have a high investment value?

Yes absolutely, it’s a limited edition Glenfiddich, with only one small batch being launched only in select markets around the world.

How are technologies and social media changing the world of liquor?

Especially during the pandemic, social media has allowed us to reach a wider audience from our brand home, with virtual tours and tastings. We as a brand have also embraced crypto fashion and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as we continue to push boundaries within the Scotch whisky category while working with artists and creatives who share our maverick mindset.


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