There are many perceptions about Scotch, such as whether it is just an expensive spirit or something only for men in leather-bound chairs who enjoy nursing their whisky. But Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky brand ambassador Jennifer Wren shared her extensive knowledge about whisky and why women can also enjoy the spirit.
She said that many women enjoy whisky but acknowledged the view that many people hold that the drink seems unladylike, “Whatever that means, [it] is a very ingrained point of view that comes from two specific mind-sets and can affect the average person’s perception of whisky consumption,” Wren explained.
“Some people have the opinion that men should and can enjoy hard spirits, and women should only sip white wine or a fizzy, fruity spritzer. Forcing gender on an inanimate object is a pointless and completely silly exercise, despite the fact that thought process is normalized,” she said. “And, although this is slowly changing, I frequently get some kind of comment when I order a dram in a new bar because, as a tiny, feminine female, I’m breaking the ingrained gender code expectation. That would make anyone feel singled out and shy. But, trust me, the whisky doesn’t care.”
“Furthermore, until recently, most advertising for whisky portrayed men, exclusively. For women, whisky drinking in media is often associated with dealing with bad news by choking a whisky down, or wild behavior that leads to regrettable actions. That being said, I would really love to see the whisky-loving equivalent of Olivia Pope of ‘Scandal’ on screen—a woman who simply enjoys her malts daily in a normalized way. Whisky enjoyment that does not define her.”
Wren’s path to enjoying whisky, especially Scotch, started when she moved to New York City at 18 to become a musical theater actress. In between acting gigs, she supported herself working in the events industry as a junior event planner with a specialty in non-for-profit fundraising and theater premieres. Around 2007, a good friend recommended her for a brand ambassador job with a local agency, and she wound up working as an ambassador for the Moët Hennessy portfolio, eventually winding up on the Scotch team. She poured at her first whisky show in 2008 and remained with them until 2013.
By 2014, Wren co-founded Whersky, a community dedicated to educating and exploring the world of whisky in an inclusive and joyful way through classes, events and articles. Contributors were almost exclusively women from very diverse backgrounds.
She joined the Scotch team at William Grant and Sons in 2015 as the ambassador for Glenfiddich. It was the culmination of many years in whisky and one she proudly represents.
As for advice on exploring and enjoying whisky, Wren would highly recommend buying a ticket to one of the local big whisky shows. “It’s a lively and fun way to taste an incredible range of expressions from all over the world and get to chat directly with many of the producers and distillers,” she said. “I simply adore it when a curious newbie comes to my table to try Glenfiddich. It’s just as thrilling to share our Scotch for the first time with someone as it is to nerd out with the enthusiasts about production.” Another option for the shyer whisky newbie would be to sign up for a private local Whisky 101 class. These classes are more intimate than the shows, and usually cover a wide range of expressions and leave room for more basic questions.
Finally, Wren encourages everyone to ask questions. “Nobody sprung from the womb spouting whisky knowledge, even if they try to act like it,” she says. As Glenfiddich Scotch brand ambassador, Wren shares her knowledge and spirit for a unique drink meant to be enjoyed.
For more information and retailers, visit glenfiddich.com.