Another special guest to visit WoW this year is Dr James Swan to provide support for our introduction of the award winning Kavalan whisky.
A little about Dr. James Swan (taken from his facebook page): In his capacity as an industry consultant, Jim has a huge array of international clients across the drinks industry. His passport bears stamps: Tom South Africa (Anchor Yeast), USA (Anchor Brewing, San Francisco; Jim Beam; Buffalo Trace; Maker’s Mark among others), India (Amrut), Puerto Rico (Bacardi), Nicaragua (CLNA Rum), Taiwan (Kavalan), Barbados (R L Seale), Japan (Suntory), Portugal (J Dias Cooperage), Australia (Rosemount Estate).
Though a passport isn’t required, Jim has also played a key role in the development of the Welsh Whisky Company’s Penderyn single malt and The English Whisky Company (St George’s Distillery). Naturally, he criss-crosses Scotland too on a regular basis advising a multitude of distilleries, most recently Kilchoman and The Annandale Distillery.
Jim modestly describes his current role as a ‘consultant to the drinks industry’. But that is a bit like saying Einstein studied Physics; it doesn’t quite do justice to the scope of his work. The deep, detailed knowledge Jim has gathered over the years about key topics such as maturation with oak wood products, cask management, flavor composition, distillation and blending is unrivalled. There is, quite simply, no-one else with his level of experience and understanding of such a wide range of subjects relating to the production of beers, wines and spirits.
His unique knowledge of, in particular, whisky-making technology and processes means inexperienced distillers and blenders around the world are queuing up for his services. He is the ultimate whisky troubleshooter – if a company needs help setting up a new distillery or a blender has a problem, Jim is the ‘fixer’ they call on. Travelling to distilleries in far-flung destinations is a major feature of Jim’s working life.