I along with 19 others was fortunate enough to be chosen out of some 5000 people to be a part of the Grant’s interview top 20, in the search for the new Grant’s whisky ambassador! We were flown to Scotland from all over the world, Argentina, Brazil, South-Africa, USA, Portugal, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Australia, Poland, Finland, Germany and even from places as far as, Edinburgh! 😀
Our journey started out with being driven to the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown, Scotland. No one knew what to expect as they gave us very little information.. All we were told before hand was that there will be an open mic and to be bold when choosing what to wear. We were all filled with excitement waiting for the unknown to reveal itself.
On our arrival at the distillery we were met by the Grant’s team, everyone was excited to meet each other and to hear what is coming next. The Grant’s team however did a fantastic job at keeping it all a secret for just a bit longer as the challenges were only to start the next day. That evening led on to a fantastic dinner with amazing Grant’s cocktails and more getting to know each other.
The thing I found really interesting about the whole process, for me at least, I didn’t have the feeling that I was a part of a competition or interview. The experience of it all and meeting all these amazing people was over whelming enough. I have been a part of many competitions and competitive situations in my life and this was nothing like I have experienced before. There was a sense of camaraderie and togetherness which overshadowed by any feelings of competitiveness.
However the next day led to a series of tasks which were a combination of fun, challenging and at some points draining. We had to complete a series of 9 challenges which ranged from whisky blending, being interviewed on camera, making cocktails, to planning what you would do for a whole month as an ambassador in Taiwan.
One of my favourite challenges was blending a unique whisky. For this they put us into teams in separate rooms, each room with a table filled with different types of whiskies. We then had to carefully construct our own signature blend. However, merely constructing our own whisky would be too easy for the Grant’s team… we were then expected to explain how each person in the team characterized the whisky. Of course, there were moments of panic, stress, nerves and excitement, all of which while the judges were carefully watching our every move and cameras clicking away… no pressure 😉
After blending the whisky the challenges continued. We needed to name our whisky, create a slogan, and come up with a catchy PR stunt. This then led to us having to create a TV campaign, both scripting and drawing every scene… even less pressure 😀
From there on the challenges just became more intense and fast paced. They named the challenges after the 9 countries which Charles Grant Gordon visited 1909 to take Grant’s whisky to the world and ultimately the 9 countries that the top 3 will visit. South-Africa, Poland, Sweden, India, Columbia, Russia, Taiwan, Israel and Australia. All the challenges were done in teams in keeping with the Grant’s slogan, Stand Together!
By the end of it I felt like every layer of myself had been peeled back from myself, but also I felt in a place and amongst people where layers were not necessary.
When we were done with the challenges we were all very ready to drink some serious whisky, and so we did! The Grant’s team prepared an amazing feast with all courses paired with different Grant’s whiskies. This was followed with more inevitably undeniable Grant’s cocktails which of course lead to karaoke, and the rest escalated really rather quickly! 😀
Apart from an amazing experience, one which I am sure we will all never forget, the Grant’s team also gave us some fantastic gifts.
I know everyone who was a part of this great event will have their own individual stories to tell about their experiences, however our stories will all have something in common, we all found friendships which will last a life time and our time throughout this adventure will remain with us for the rest of our days.
Follow the Grant’s interview top 20 on Instagram: Lindambuso, Venturanico, Tom.bouwens, Gomez_hedonesty, Matrickphoto, Rene_ackermann, Dannydyer, Nunoramos117, Amaciver, Peterzack, Amylouisewatton, Evergreenest, Whiskywithryan, Murilonoinstagram, Hoppa87, Chasejdonahue, Mateusz_zabiegaj, andre187 Glodnyswiata
Photo Credits: Venturanico, Tom.bouwens, Gomez_hedonesty, Matrickphoto, Rene_ackermann, Dannydyer, Nunoramos117, Amaciver, Peterzack, Grantswhisky