Introducing Mr Andrew Derbidge
Andrew Derbidge is a Director of the SMWS and is responsible for the portfolio of Cellarmaster. As the Society’s State Manager for NSW, he also hosts all of the Society’s members’ events in Sydney. He is a consulting structural engineer by profession, which means he spends his day working with architects and builders trying to make buildings stand up. Little wonder then that he needs a good drink at the end of the day!
He was converted to the world of single malts back in the early 1990s when a kind soul introduced him to a bottle of Lagavulin. He never looked back, although to this day Lagavulin remains one of his favourite malts. His interest in malts extends across the entire spectrum of detail – whisky history, technical production, geography, the people in the industry, whisky trivia, new bottling releases, new developments, and of course, the stunning array of aromas and flavours in each bottle.
About five or six years ago he started running his own whisky tasting and education evenings for various groups, including one of the liquor retail chains in Sydney. He began to act as a freelance whisky consultant through many diverse avenues and provided various services for numerous liquor stores, whisky events, publications, and internet sites.
He joined the Society as a member at its initial launch in 2002, and gave the occasional presentation at some of the Sydney tasting nights over the next year or two, as well as representing the Society at a couple of corporate events. Halfway through 2005, he was invited to take over the role of State Manager for NSW, and shortly afterwards, was asked to join the Board of Directors. In that regard, his primary role is to ensure we get the best whiskies from Scotland (he takes the selection process very seriously!); he organises our imports & bottling lists; and aims to ensure that we keep our members’ palates satisfied!
Andrew enjoys talking and writing about whisky almost as much as drinking it, and in recent years he has contributed articles, reviews and pieces to Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine, Whisky Magazine (in the UK), the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Gourmet Pages, as well as a few other whisky-related publications. In 2005 he also won Australian Gourmet Traveller’s “Best new spirits writer” award.
In addition to the SMWS, he is a member of (far too) many other malt appreciation clubs and organisations, and attends, on average, between three and five whisky tasting events each month, either as host & presenter or as a happy participant.
For the few hours left spare in the week when he is not doing something whisky-related, he loves running around the squash court in the Sydney Pennant competition, enjoys watching cricket & Aussie Rules, and playing with his two young kids.
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