Meet the MD: Gregor Hannah of Hannah Whisky Merchants

Meet the MD: Gregor Hannah of Hannah Whisky Merchants

Despite not coming from a background within the industry Gregor Hannah, managing director of Hannah Whisky Merchants, turned his passion for Whisky into his career. He caught up with BQ to tell us more...

Describe your role in no more than 100 words.

I source, sample and sell Single Cask Single Malt Whisky.

 

What is it the company does?

Hannah Whisky Merchants ltd sells casks and bottles premium quality casks under the brand name Lady of the Glen. Our meticulously sourced casks, which are sourced from the rich Scottish landscape of distilleries both active and closed, are judged on their spirit quality and bottled at cask strength without Chill Filtering in our uniquely numbered bottles.

 

Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

I worked in a number of different bars and restaurants in Stirling developing a passion and understanding of Whisky and then after graduation from University I worked in the bank. It was the threat of redundancy which gave me the impetuous to setup my own Whisky business. I’ve worked part time for a number of years while running the business but as my confidence grew I was able to embark on it full time.

I actually have not had a connection with the Whisky industry, I came at this as a total outsider which had its challenges when I initially sought to acquire casks and build up my reputation.

 

What do you believe makes a great leader?

Fortitude and patience. Fortitude to endure and meet challenges and patience to accept that things will go wrong and understanding we’re all human.

 

What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

Explaining to my mum what I actually do. However, aside from that it’s exiting the business after work hours and being able to close the door on it to enjoy a normal work life balance with my wife.

 

 How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

I go swimming Monday to Friday from 12 which helps to break up the day. I play guitar regularly, making sure to practice my scales when I can and play the entire way through songs not just playing the bits I like.

 

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I told my mum I wanted to be a comedian, she laughed but it wasn’t in a good way.

 

Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?

People who spell Scotch Whisky with an e like Whiskey, depending on who they are I tell them. People who phone me and immediately shorten my name to Greg despite me introducing myself as Gregor, I tend to make people aware of this abruptly. I have other pet hates but I’ll start to come across as pedantic…

 

Where do you see the company in five years time?

I want Lady of the Glen to be recognised as bottling the best Whisky on the market and I want to be in a position where I have staff that are fulfilled, challenged and enjoy their roles.

 

What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

Be prepared to sacrifice and be aware that it’s not just you that will endure the difficulties associated with your business but your family and friends will share that weight, some more than others.