Moray’s Ann Miller – aka ‘The Dram Queen’ – has been made a Master of the Quaich in recognition of all her work to promote whisky. Ann, who lives near Archiestown, received the industry’s highest honour during a banquet at Blair Castle.
Speaking about the award, Ann said: “It’s so nice to be appreciated in such a way by your peers. I’ve been overwhelmed by the messages of congratulations. It’s gratifying to learn that, maybe, I have been doing something right all these years.”
Ann added: “To join this very select group of Masters of the Quaich, whose contribution to the world of whisky I have always admired, is a privilege. I might occasionally have dreamt about it, but it’s an honour I never expected would be conferred on me.
“During a long and varied career, I have been privileged to work with many inspiring people. I would like to thank everyone who shared their knowledge and expertise so generously with me over the years.”
The title was bestowed by the Keepers of the Quaich, the international society which was established to celebrate those who make and sell Scotland’s national drink.
To become a Master of the Quaich, the recipient must first have to have been made a Keeper of the Quaich at least 10 years beforehand.
Ann began working in the whisky industry more than three decades ago. She was first involved in the Scotch Whisky Experience, the visitor attraction in Edinburgh. Then, after four years, she accepted an invitation to move north to Speyside. Here she was involved with several projects, including upgrading the visitors’ centres at Strathisla in Keith, Glen Grant in Rothes and The Glenlivet.
She was selected as an International Brand Ambassador by Chivas Brothers at a time when these roles were generally considered exclusively masculine. A multi-linguist she has since travelled extensively overseas promoting whisky, especially in French and Spanish-speaking countries. In addition, Ann worked for Pernod Ricard for a long period across its entire range of single and premium blended whiskies. She was made a Keeper of the Quaich in 2012.
Ann now currently works freelance under the title of ‘The Dram Queen’, offering Scotch whisky-related experiences.
She said: “On so many occasions I’d hosted industry guests to the facilities in Scotland and explained the behind-the-scenes processes that go towards creating the whiskies enjoyed around the world. It made me realise there was an opportunity to offer a similar range of experiences to whisky debutants and enthusiasts amongst the general public.”
“While all whiskies may be made from the same basic ingredients, there is such an incredibly wide variety of different types and different flavours. That’s why, if anyone ever tells me they don’t like whisky, I see it as a challenge to find and share with them a whisky that they do enjoy.”