Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky’s global campaign, Where Next? campaign has been gaining momentum in the Kenyan market. In partnership with EatOut, Glenfiddich has been holding exclusive luncheons with industry players over to sample the brand’s products.

The Where Next? campaign communicates the uncertainty of growth and reimagines the brand’s stag icon as a symbol of this.

Hapakenya spoke to Mulunda Kombo, the Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador in Kenya, to get insight on the brand’s history, uniqueness, drinking tips and plans for the future.

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Mulunda Kombo and i am the national brand ambassador for Glenfiddich in Kenya. I am what you wouId call a bon vivant, i enjoy good food, drinks and clothes. I am also a whisky enthusiast.

As a brand ambassador for Glenfidich, it is my job to tell stories about the rich history and heritage of the brand. My journey as a brand ambassador started courtesy of Jumuza which is a culinary consulting firm whereby i was doing events for William Grants & Sons which is the family that owns the Glenfidich distillery.

Being a genuine consumer and lover of Glenfiddich made it very easy for me to work with the brand. It is a mutually beneficial partnership that I enjoy and genuinely care about.

Tell us about your love for food and your experience as a Chef

I have a culinary consulting firm called Jumuza, that came out from my interest in learning how to cook and sharing those experiences with people on Instagram where i gained a good following. I was able to convert this into pop up events in different and obscure locations for example at the Lake House in Tigoni. It has been a self taught journey of passion and love.

How has your journey been as the Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador in Kenya?

One word that comes to mind is exciting!! This is because as a genuine consumer of the product for many years, I have been able to deeply understand the whisky its components, its history, and rich heritage. It has been an exciting experience to be included in the family, and I am proud and honored to be part of the brand as i am now part of something which is greater than myself.

Glenfidich is the world’s most awarded single malt scotch whisky and i get to say that i am an ambassador to this amazing brand so i have to say that it is exciting and an absolute honor.

Tell us the history behind the brand

Glenfiddich has been around for the last 134 years, the brand will be turning 135 on the 25th of December this year. The company was started by a Scottish man called William Grant who had a dream of making the best single malt whisky Scotland. He thereafter recruited his 7 sons and two daughters whom we call endearingly “the magnificent 10.” They built a  distillery house brick by brick something which took them one year. Amazingly, the distillery house is still standing to date.

Over the years, the brand has grown to become one of the most awarded single malt scotch whiskys in the world. This because we consistently  ask ourselves the question, “Where Next?”. The fact that we are an independent and family owned distillery has helped us to innovate and push the boundaries of the category and inform other players on what the standards of execution and excellence are. We are really proud of our independent and family owned status because it drives us to be the best.

What are the unique qualities of Glenfiddich Whisky?

Our Original 12 products have undergone the same distilling processes since the brand’s inception in 1887.

Also, our unique selling point is our Stag icon, Glenfidich actually means valley of the deer because where the distillery is located, there are a lot of deer which run free.  The icon was adopted because it pays homage to where we are located in Scotland. The icon has made the brand so recognizable that 50% of first time drinkers will opt to sample our whiskies. This is due to brand resonance and single malt credibility to the more seasoned imbibers.

The other thing which makes us stand out is that we are an independent distillery which means that we are able to push boundaries and innovate. This is what has enabled us to deliver the best single malt whiskies which are recognized world over. Actually, one of the most popular single malt scotch whisky in Nairobi is a 15 year old Glenfidich which was born out of innovation.

What are the common misconceptions on whisky you would like to address?

A common misconception is that whisky is only consumed by the elite in society. We are changing this belief by inviting more people from different backgrounds to experience the uniqueness of this whisky. The people we are trying to induct into the family embody that share the same maverick spirit as Glenfiddich and are pushing the boundaries of whatever it is they are doing.

The second misconception is that you can only drink the whisky in a certain way, either neat on the rocks or with a dash of water. As a brand we do not stipulate how one should consume their drink. We are only here to be a guide and source of knowledge.

As a consumer, you are allowed to imbibe the whisky in whatever way you want. We are actually trying to inculcate people in the whisky cocktail culture for different occasions. For example on a long and hot day, i might want a refreshing high ball cocktail which is just a double of Glenfidich 12, some soda water and a garnish of lemon.

Which food pairings go best with Glenfiddich whisky?

Different people prefer to pair their food differently. For our Original 12, which is fresh fruity, crispy and light  we typically pair it with light seafood like prawns. With Celelar 15, which has complexity and balance, we can pair with a spicy carrot cake. With Reserve 18 which has robust oak flavors, we can pair it with baked spicy apple pies. Essentially each expression has an identity which makes them unique.

Give us a few responsible drinking tips for consumers

Always drink in moderation, Glenfiddich is a big proponent of responsible drinking. Consumers should also stay hydrated while drinking and remember to eat food whenever they are drinking.

What are the future plans for the Brand in Kenya?

We have a number of plans which are being rolled out, however, i am not at liberty to disclose them as yet. However, what i can talk about is the movie night that we had for Tv and film sphere. We had them in the same room watching and appreciating a Kenyan movie which was part of our Where Next?  campaign.

Given that we have a shared experience with COVID, we want to create opportunities for people to engage with each other. We want to engage and have dialogues with people from all walks of life. We also want to plug in as Glenfiddich to help people answer the question, Where Next?

What is your advice for young Kenyans aspiring to be like you?

The journey for me to get to this point has taken very many twists and turns. I didn’t plan to be on this journey but one thing that i did was to ensure that everything that i did it to the best of my ability and i didn’t compromise on my beliefs. Being someone who comes from a big family, Glenfiddich spoke to me as a brand because it resonated with me because it is family oriented.

I would advice young people to always be consistent and make sure that your beliefs and values are not compromised in every endeavor that they undertake.