Spotlight on Gemma McColl - Client Services Coordinator for Glenturret

About my role... My role is mainly events based, from the initial planning and organising stages right through to the running of Glenturret events, both on and off site. Whether that be an exclusive tour and dinner for groups coming to visit the distillery, or taking Glenturret tastings out to other venues. No two days are the same and being part of a small team means we get exposure to all different sides of the business. Having started at Glenturret as a tour guide, I'll also pop my guiding hat back on and take the occasional tour!

What I enjoy about my job... There's nothing more satisfying than seeing guests have a great visit to the distillery after seeing the event through from start to finish! Watching groups getting involved in a Blending Experience and see their competitive sides come out, trying to out-do each other's master blender skills is always great fun and there's a real joy in seeing a guest find the Glenturret that fits perfectly with their palette! The whisky industry in Scotland brings such varied visitors, from those who want to tick-off the "whisky box" on their Scotland bucket list, to those who have a vast knowledge of whisky and are looking for a new unique experience. I love being able to play a part in all of these peoples' visits and the variety that comes with creating experiences for guests of all different levels of whisky knowledge.

What makes Glenturret special... I always joke that Glenturret helped raise me! Starting work here as a seasonal tour guide during my university holidays, it quickly became a second home and a second family, and I think the setting and atmosphere at Glenturret lends itself to allowing people to feel easily at home, for both staff and visitors. From our tour guides, to our retail hosts, to our chefs, all the staff here really want to showcase the best of not just Glenturret, but Scotland, giving everyone the warmest welcome. That warmth shines through across the whole site and makes Glenturret the most special place to work and visit!

What exciting things are coming up for myself and the distillery...? It's a really exciting year for us at Glenturret. In March, we were bought by the luxury goods brand Lalique and we already have plans lined up for refurbishments across the visitor experience, including the events space! It was important to everyone on site that the history and heritage that makes Glenturret unique wasn't lost in amongst new ownership, so we were all thrilled to hear that Lalique wanted to keep a focus on this while planning the refurbishments. On top of this they have stressed the importance to them of using local suppliers and tradesmen for the work being done, to ensure investment is also being spread across the local area. With work starting in November, we're looking forward to officially relaunching the visitor experience in April 2020!

Did you know... Glenturret was officially established in 1775, so there's an infinite back catalogue of amazing stories about the distillery, the staff who have worked here, and the guests who have visited over the years. I think my personal favourite will always be the story of one our slightly more unusual members of staff: Towser! Towser was our resident distillery cat and mouser who started her role at the distillery in 1963 and was on a mouse-catching spree right up until she passed away in 1987! To this day she still holds the record for the most mice ever caught at a distillery with an estimated 28,899 mice caught - not bad!! We currently have 2 distillery cats, Glen and Turret, however, they don't quite have the same ability, and much prefer getting a cuddle from visitors than going out to catch mice!

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