I would like to introduce you all to Hugo who is the new Brand Development manager for one of my favourite independent bottlers and not to mention the closest to my headquarters.. As anyone who reads my blog will already know I have been privileged to review many of the releases from Claxtons so I really hoped once Hugo was settled in to his new job that I would manage to get him to sit down and have a chat..
Please introduce yourself.
A – Hi, my name is Hugo Caprichoso, and I am Claxton’s Brand Development Manager.
How long have you been working in the whisky industry? And what is your background?
A – Strictly speaking this is my first full time role in the industry, although I have been involved with running and organising whisky tastings since 2011-12. Before joining Claxton’s, I was working for a wine merchant company and prior to that I worked in hospitality, while running a whisky events business and organising the Leeds Whisky Club.
Can you tell us what the day to day job might involve?
A – Because Claxton’s a family business I get stuck in with most things going on. It’s an incredibly diverse role with sales, marketing and events focus but also many operational components such as preparing whisky samples packs to send across to various people around the world. Plus the all-important product research and development (i.e. tasting whisky).
Why did you decide on a career in the world of whisky?
A – Good quality Single Malt Scotch was introduced to me by friends many years ago. I absolutely love the wonderful variety and complexity in whisk(e)y, the fact that in today’s busy world you need to take time to appreciate it properly, and the great joy of sharing it with friends. From there to hosting tastings it was lightning quick and I decided to learn as much as I could and work towards making it my full–time job.
What has been your biggest highlight to date?
A – Helping select the casks to be bottled in the upcoming outturns. It thrills me to think I have helped to choose a whisky for you and others to enjoy in the months and years to come.
What does whisky mean to you?
A – Whisky to me is something delightful because it allows me not only to access distant memories through aromas and flavours, but also to connect with people who appreciate it for the same or for entirely different reasons that I do.
What is it that you enjoy the most about the industry
A – The people. Invariably most people I meet are genuinely nice and incredibly generous.
What has surprised you /intrigued you most about this job
A – So far, I am finding everything quite as exciting as I thought it was going to be, however I just barely started so please ask me again in a few years’ time.
What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
A – I have two: Either an evening with good friends and great conversation, or a quiet moment while reading a good book. The place doesn’t matter so much, as long as I am sat down comfortably.
Have you got a favourite whisky?
A – Claxton’s of course! I do love most Single Malts, particularly the independent bottlings at higher ABV as they carry so much more flavour. In terms of style, although I am always looking for something different and exciting, I always have a soft spot for complex yet well-balanced drams with spicy and nutty undertones.
The whisky industry is a demanding job so what do you do to relax?
A – When you love your job it doesn’t feel like work anymore, but I like to meet up with friends, cooking, to read and go to the cinema when I can. I also love holidays in sunny places and snorkelling.
Many thanks to Hugo for his time and to Claxtons for all the support to the blog over the last few years..
I would like to wish Hugo a long and fantastic career with Claxtons and hope together you have a lot of success..
Photos courtesy of Claxtons and Hugo..