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Max Warner: Global Brand Ambassador

By: Sheena Benson

Imagine travelling the world 24 weeks a year, visiting the most lavish bars and restaurants, and identifying with cultures across the globe – all whilst sipping the World’s first ever luxury Scotch whisky.

For Max Warner, not only is this a reality, it’s his livelihood.  “On a global map, I think I could probably say there are four countries I haven’t been to, and that’s it, and I have stories and tales on each and every one of them.” He recalls. “Some I share and some of them I don’t.” He adds laughing.

As the Global Brand Ambassador for Chivas Regal, Warner tours the world imparting knowledge and giving people an educated choice about Scotch whisky. Warner broke into the hospitality industry first as a chef before working in bars; he attributes this passion to his mother who was a chef for the Prime Minister. “Before I could even talk I was tasting food and trying to figure out what it was all about.” He explains. 

At 28, Warner was approached by Chivas to join the spirit company as their Brand Ambassador. After a bit of research, Warner found that not only was the luxury brand available in 220 countries around the world, the brand was exciting. Back in the 50s, it was the drink of choice amongst style icons like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin; this was an extension of a lifestyle he was eager to become a part of. During his recent visit to Canada, we caught up with the Scottish connoisseur to learn more about the luxury brand.

What goes into the perfect Chivas cocktail?

The staple drink for Chivas and for whisky in general is Canada Dry.  Ginger works very well because its spice lengthens the whisky and then the most important thing is that you add a nice squeeze of lime on top, just to balance the sweetness of the whisky and the ginger ale. That is the best way I can recommend for people that don’t drink many cocktails and it’s something people can do at home. Simplicity is usually the key.

Your favourite recipe?

It depends on the time of day, who I’m with, which country I’m in, how many clothes I’m wearing. It’s so dependent on a lot of things. I’m very into classic cocktails; we wouldn’t be here without the prohibition era. You can look at drinks like the Manhattan; look at drinks like the Blood and Sand. It’s got a lovely story, named after a Rudolph Valentino film in 1924, which is all about a bull fighter.  It’s called a Blood and Sand because it’s named after the film but also because it actually looks like, without sounding revolting, what a glass with blood and sand mixed in it would look like.  You’ve got the golden bits on the outside and the deep red in the inside. It’s a balance of Chivas Regal 12 year old, Cherry Brandy, Orange Juice, and Italian Vermouth and it’s absolutely amazing. I challenge any one of any age, colour or creed, gender unspecific, to try it out.

What separates Chivas from the competition?

Most importantly that it was the World’s first ever luxury Scotch whisky.  That’s a story I can’t talk about enough. We’ve got a legacy, John and James Chivas originally pioneered blending, these guys were visionaries. They were artists and they provided goods and services to the royal family in Scotland, hence the name Chivas Regal or Chivas Royal. I am continuing their legacy in providing the aristocracy of the world with the finest information about Scotch whisky and associating the right brands.

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