Lewis native becomes global ambassador for whisky company

Gemma Paterson will be The Balvenie's next global ambassador.
Gemma Paterson will be The Balvenie's next global ambassador.

The Balvenie, the world’s most handcrafted single malt Scotch whisky, has announced an important decision for the custodianship of the brand, as it appoints Gemma Paterson to be its next Global Ambassador.

Gemma Paterson grew up on Lewis and after graduating from the University of Glasgow in 2011 with a degree in Russian Language and Slavonic Studies, she spent time at The Balvenie distillery, where she gained first-hand experience studying the art and science behind scotch malt whisky production.

During her time at the distillery, Gemma also obtained a General Certificate in Distillation from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, where she is currently working towards her three-year Diploma.

Gemma’s tenure at the distillery earned her a place on the William Grant & Sons’ Nosing Panel, where she had first-hand experience working with David C. Stewart MBE at his tasting room in Glasgow.

Eventually her love of single malt scotch and her passion for sharing this love led her to New York in May 2016, where she took up the post of The Balvenie Ambassador, United States East.

Commenting on her appointment, Gemma says: “Words can’t express how excited I am to start this next chapter in my career with The Balvenie.

“I feel so privileged to take up such a prestigious role and be given the opportunity to play a part in the history of this great distillery.”

Gemma will be taking over from current Global Ambassador Sam Simmons.

Sam, a respected whisky expert and Keeper of the Quaich who often goes by the moniker of ‘Dr Whisky’, has been with the Speyside distillery since 2008, initially as The Balvenie Ambassador USA, and subsequently as Global Ambassador, which he was appointed to in 2010.

“Sam has provided a wealth of support and guidance to me throughout my time with The Balvenie and I’ve thoroughly enjoy our recent handover period,” Gemma continued.

“We’ve followed a similar path from USA Ambassador to Global Ambassador, so he’s been the perfect mentor for me as I transition into my new role.”

Commenting on his successor, Sam Simmons says: “Having known Gemma for a number of years now, it’s abundantly clear that she has all of the credentials needed to succeed within the role of Global Ambassador.

“Gemma’s dedication to the distillery and passion for sharing the wonderful world of scotch whisky will set in her good stead for the future. I hope she invites me to a tasting soon!”