While it would be both awesome and amazing if these whisky events did just magically happen there are in fact people working behind the scenes to ensure the events (and the whisky) run smoothly.
The committee for the academic year 2020-2021:
Elliott Levi – President:
I discovered my love of whisky while I was at university in Scotland. It’s hard to avoid it, and I found myself a member of the whisky society in St Andrews. I knew that when I moved to Cambridge, CUWAS would be a great way to meet people and to continue to explore the spirit. 4 years on and I’ve made it to president! It may not be the year I was hoping for, but with the help of my committee, we hope to still be able to share a few drams with you all.
Claude Ewert – Vice President
For someone whose background is in the Metal and Rock scene, including extensive touring, it is hardly surprising that booze was plenty, although hardly for the sake of appreciation. As my career path somehow led me to do a PhD in History at the University of Cambridge, Jack Daniel’s and Jägermeister got shelved and replaced by complex and progressive spirits (just how I like my music). I joined CUWAS because I am very curious about the many whiskies you can find. The tastings are the ideal place to discover new and rare drams, but also to exchange experiences with other tasters. My tastebuds relish in Speyside’s sweetness (Aberlour A’bunadh for example) and those that hit hard with peat (Port Charlotte is my favourite).
Julian Beckmann – Webmaster:
I am actually interested in everything related to high quality food and drinks, but my love for whisky only developed on the second sight. In brief, for my 18th birthday I got a bottle of Caol Ila 18 as a present and although I could appreciate the quality of the spirit, I was overwhelmed by the strong flavors and consequently the bottle became lost for sometime in my father’s bar. But after some years of collecting “drinking experience” with rum, I thought I should give whisky a second chance again. The rest of the story is history ending in my current “whisky obsession”.
Elre Oldewage – Treasurer
My first experience with whisky was fresh out of high school, at a music festival, where I had the unfortunate luck to be handed a plastic party cup, half water and half Vat 69 Scotch. Though I have only vague recollections of the rest of the night, I distinctly recall thinking “This stuff is awful. Who in their right mind would drink this willingly!?” Fortunately, that was not my final encounter with whisky and it turns out that I actually love it. Being part of CUWAS has been a great opportunity to expand my palette and experience whiskies that I might otherwise never have encountered. Tastings are also good fun: our members are a lively bunch and always up for a chat, especially after the first few drams.
Hein Oldewage – General Committee Member
My brother in-law introduced me to whiskey, and luckily for me he has good taste. I am not very knowledgeable in the field, but I am always excited to learn more about the origins of the whiskeys and the process by which they are made.
Archie Arran – Secretary
As an Irishman, it is easy to say that I was simply born with a love of whiskey in my blood. However, damaging cultural stereotypes aside, it is the connection to the culture, landscape, and craftsmanship of home that originally drew me to trying Irish whiskey. CUWAS has helped me broaden my horizons and try a wide variety of unique and fascinating drinks, although, no matter what dram we imbibe, the connection between whiskey and its producer is always palpable. Different preparations and environments leave traces of the place they were made- from the green fields of Ireland- where I first was acquainted- to the windswept crags of the Scottish Hebrides, to America, to Japan, and a range of other places. Perhaps my perspective is too romantic, but I thoroughly encourage anyone that’s interested to experience whiskey for themselves to come along to a CUWAS evening. With a friendly setting, guided tasting, and excellent price, it really is a no-brainer.