The primary time Sherlyne Muita tasted whisky, she was about 20 years.
“It was at a celebration in New Zealand the place I used to be learning for my Bachelor’s diploma in enterprise administration, earlier than transferring to Italy to do a Grasp’s in Model Administration and Communication,” she says, seated on a excessive stool bar at Sankara Resort in Nairobi.
It’s about 4.30 pm on a Tuesday and Sherlyne shouldn’t be about to wind down her day. She has one other assembly to speak extra about alcohol, earlier than planning one other one the following night to show drinkers respect the one malt Scotch whisky and differentiate the style of an 18-year double cask from a 12-year-old triple cask and the amber honey-coloured double cask 15-year-old.
She is amongst a brand new technology defying whisky-drinking stereotypes and making a profession out of alcohol. After graduating at 23, she labored with worldwide alcohol manufacturers like Campari, and Diageo.
“And now I’m at Macallan beneath Edrington,” she says of her new job at Macallan as a model ambassador.
A whisky and wine collector, she says she doesn’t gather only for private pleasure.
“I simply began amassing whisky. I don’t gather it for myself. It’s for my daughter; she’s turning 5 in March. I’m amassing each bottle created in 2017 as a result of that’s when she was born,” says Sherlyne.
Her love for alcohol began from her travels.
“While you go to a whisky bar, like one I visited in South Africa, you see totally different whiskies from totally different years, and I discovered myself saying ‘I need to attempt that one!,” she says.
She tasted many alternative whiskies brewed over many many years in the past, and that’s the whisky wealth she needs her daughter to develop in.
“If I get her a bottle immediately, by the point she turns 18, it will likely be value a lot. I’m a single mum, so I need to take into consideration her future. It’s a long-term [investment] plan for her,” she says.
However why whisky and never wine? When she was working in Dubai, she says, she felt overlooked of the boy’s membership as a result of she was younger, in administration and feminine.
“The boys was once like, ‘we’re going for whisky, the women are extra in regards to the wine.’ And I’d refute that. A part of attempting to suit into the boy’s membership in Dubai bought me on this journey of sitting with the massive boys, discussing offers on the desk whereas having fun with a glass of whisky, neat,” she says.
A couple of years in the past, if you happen to requested most individuals to envisage a whisky drinker, chances are high feminine, 35, married or single mom of 1, with college levels and a style in effective garments, wouldn’t be it.
However now girls have gotten whisky aficionados. Sherlyne is a part of a membership of Girls Who Whisky in Kenya, the place feminine drinkers meet to get pleasure from a tipple or find out about alcohol.
The Girls Who Whisky group is changing into in style that for one to take part in digital tastings, few slots can be found, and so they refill in half-hour.
“I all the time inform girls, stroll right into a bar and ask to your glass of whisky, it says quite a bit about you. It’s totally different from a girl who’ll get right into a bar and says, ‘I need a glass of wine- pink, white, rosé,” she says, including “If you happen to stroll as much as the bartender and also you’re very particular about what you need, ‘I would like Macallan 12, not on the rocks. Folks will have a look at you otherwise, as a girl who understands what she needs. The arrogance places you on a separate stage.”
Sherlyne could have tasted many whiskies, however her favorite proper now’s a bottle of Macallan No.6.
“It’s very sturdy. It accommodates about 43 % ABV [alcohol by volume]. I skilled it for the primary time in South Africa and Thami Banda [South Africa’s Macallan brand ambassador and her mentor] checked out me and he stated ‘woman you’re ingesting this neat, you’re not even placing ice.’ And I used to be like ‘I really like the style!’ The second I put ice in it, it’s going to spoil the entire texture of the No. 6. It’s a collection, version one to 6,” she says.
Loving whisky is totally different from abusing it, and few individuals know the distinction. So how does she management her consumption, particularly if her favorite is 43 % alcohol by quantity?
“When you’ve had a double, drink two glasses of water. You understand your physique, so cease at two glasses or two doubles…,” she says.
Overindulgence has been an issue for some throughout the Covid occasions, as they make money working from home.
“We all know we’re going by laborious occasions, however you aren’t attempting to get hooked onto alcohol. You drink to get pleasure from it, really feel relaxed. There are occasions you’ve had a protracted day, and simply pour your self a double shot, sit on a sofa and hearken to Frank Sinatra. No disturbance. You aren’t overdrinking,” she says.
As a Macallan model ambassador, she is hoping for a great 12 months and to court docket new drinkers.
“My objective is to make individuals perceive the whisky extra, get pleasure from it extra,” she says.
How ought to one drink a Macallan? “First it’s essential to nostril it. Put a drop in your hand, as soon as the alcohol rubs off, odor the elements just like the citrus, to know the flavours. If you happen to sip whisky and cringe your face, you missed a step. What you should do is take it, sip it, swirl it, swallow it and exhale together with your mouth. That takes out the harshness so you possibly can get pleasure from what’s left in your mouth, the fruity flavours of the whisky. It is not nearly swirl a glass to swirl a glass,” she says.
It’s fascinating the way in which she talks about alcohol, like it’s a particular person. It’s even fascinating how she talks about Macallan like she has recognized it for years, but she joined the corporate solely two months in the past.
“It’s my job, it’s my ardour and it’s me,” she says.
As a feminine model ambassador, she is aiming to woo girls drinkers, and the reception has been good.
The Macallan 12 triple cask, she says, is a simple entry level particularly for ladies and it is usually excellent for cocktails.
“When you set tastings for them of their favorite shops then they grow to be your loyal followers as a result of they’ll be like lastly a girl is instructing us about whisky,” she says.
Though she is among the many few in Africa, Macallan ambassadors are feminine. Out of 5, the ladies are three in Africa.
“It’s a world dominated by males however as a girl, it’s a must to step as much as the plate and say ‘look I’m additionally right here, I even have a model I need to speak about,” says the 35-year-old.
Does her household cringe at her profession?
“No. Sometimes, I drink with my dad. My mum has been with me by this journey. I assume as a result of they’re within the enterprise, they figured I used to be following of their footsteps,” she says.