The Whisky Ambassador

The only accreditation from the UK

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The Whisky Ambassador programme is a uniquely designed course teaching the history, mystery and the up-selling opportunities that Scotch Whisky offers. As we are 100% independent, our detailed information is not merely brand specific. Our programme is the sole preserve of the Licensed Trade and is aimed at making Whisky a more saleable product and the most profitable spirit option to offer your guests. Fully accredited through the BIIAB (British Institute of Innkeeping Awarding Body), the UK’s leading provider of qualifications for the licensed trade. (

In Hong Kong, Macau and China, Cru Media Ltd. was appointed as the operating partner of Whisky Ambassador programme, to conduct all the courses and enrolment. We are the publisher of Cru Magazine, specialized in wine and spirits for both consumers as well as food and wine professionals. We also have close partnership with Whisky Magazine Hong Kong & Macau Chinese Edition, as well as Whisky Live HK.


To gather all whisky lovers in Hong Kong and we will organize different activities on Whisky (e.g. tasting, master class, workshops – held by experienced specialists and experts). This would be a great way to promote whiskies and share the whisky’s news around Hong Kong.

Level 1: Whisky Ambassador Foundation Course

Who Should Attend?


This qualification provides an introduction to the one wishing to gain basic whisky knowledge. It can be seen as a quick way to cover the basics but crucial skills to whisky appreciation. Technical knowledge and skills to approach, to taste and to evaluate whisky will be introduced. You will then understand why whisky is unique, where it came from, and why there is a bottle of Whisky in nearly every bar in the world!


Programme Outline
  • Whisky by numbers
  • The basics – its history, geography, production
  • Glassware, presentation and sales
  • Nosing and tasting. Learn the subtle differences between whiskies and confidently talk about its complexities
  • Drink less. Drink better
  • Mixers and cocktails
  • Other world whiskies – Learn how to recommend whisky with success and be able to up-sell to premium brands

Professional Trainers: Whisky Ambassador Certified Trainers

Leigh McGrotty

Leigh McGrotty

Certified Whisky Ambassador & Trainer

Leigh McGrotty is a renowned Whisky Educator from Scotland and official Trainer of The Whisky Ambassador Programme. A Whisky professional with an interesting background in global Whisky branding, Leigh has worked with some of Scotland’s most iconic Whisky Brands and has an incorrigible passion for the stories behind the brands.

As a Whisky Consultant Leigh today champions the word of Scotland’s smaller, emerging distilleries in Asia and encourages the legacy of some of Scotland’s oldest Whiskies. An active ‘Lady Who Whiskies’ in Hong Kong, Leigh’s personal mantra is to promote Whisky for everyone!

Leigh hosts regular tastings and corporate events as well as being a founder member of Whisky Vogue.

Dea Macleod

Dea Macleod

Certified Whisky Ambassador

Dea Macleod is a certified Whisky Ambassador from Scotland who introduced The Whisky Ambassador Programme here in Hong Kong. With a background in Scottish hospitality Dea is a passionate Foodie & Whisky Ambassador, who regularly provides menu and consultancy services to Whisky Bars in Asia. Her dedication is to Whisky and food pairing and regularly connects with Scottish F&B companies on emerging trends both in Scotland and in Asia.

An enthusiast of all Scottish Malt Whiskies, Dea is also an adventurist in other World Whiskies and a spirited contributor to The Whisky Ambassador programme in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Eddie Nara

Eddie Nara

Certified Whisky Ambassador & Trainer

Eddie Nara is a Certified Trainer of the Whisky Ambassador program, a Certified Specialist of Spirits accredited by the Society of Wine Educators, and an international Spirit Judge. He is an independent whisk(e)y educator and consultant, conducting masterclasses on behalf of the whisk(e)y trade and hosts tastings for corporate clients, and write spirits column in various magazine. Eddie was the Founding Chairman of HK’s first whisk(e)y appreciation society.

How Will You Benefit?


The aim of the course is to show how to identify and satisfy customer needs and to provide a useful insight into the career progression to becoming a whisky ambassador.


  • Enhance Experience
  • Increase Knowledge
  • Uplift in Sales (64% increase in Whisky sales reported)
  • Increased Profitability
  • Increased Customer Satisfaction
  • Better Staff Motivation

(Successful students will receive a certificate and Whisky Ambassador Badge)

The Assessment Process


The assessment lasts for 45 minutes and consists of a 30 question multiple choice exam and a practical assessment consisting of four whiskies to be identified using nosing and/or tasting. In order to pass the exam, candidates must correctly answer 21 out of 30 questions and correctly identify at least 2 of the 4 whiskies.


Entry Requirements


Candidates must be over the legal minimum age for the retail purchase of alcoholic beverages in the country where the examination is being held.

Level 1 Weekend Intensive Class (1 day) :

Upcoming Course Date:  18 May 2019, Saturday

Venue: Bar Ginger, 12 On Wo Lane, Central, Hong Kong

Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm ( lunch time: 12:30 – 1:30pm,  lunch included)

Examination: 4:30pm – 5:30pm (Same day)

Speaker: Mr Tony Leung, the Appointed Trainer in Hong Kong

Language: Cantonese with English Supplement


Upcoming Course Date:  22 Jun 2019, Saturday

Venue: InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong, 70 Mody Road, Tsimshatsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm ( lunch time: 12:30 – 1:30pm,  lunch included)

Examination: 4:30pm – 5:30pm (Same day)

Speaker: Miss Cecilia Wong, the Appointed Trainer in Hong Kong

Language: Cantonese with English Supplement


Upcoming Course Date: To be announced

Level 2: Whisky Ambassador Intermediate Course

Provides a more comprehensive coverage of the wide range of whiskies around the world. The qualification has an increased focus on whisky tasting technique.

*More details will be announced soon

Whisky Ambassador Venue Accreditation

Venues that show an extraordinary passion for Whisky and who are proud to ensure outstanding customer service can now apply to become accredited venues by having certified Whisky Ambassadors.
How Will You Benefit?
  • Exclusive Whisky Ambassador, American Oak Venue Plaque
  • Discounted Whisky Ambassador Training
  • Promotion on the official The Whisky Ambassador website
  • Discounted Whisky Tasting and Sampling events at your venue
  • Ongoing support from your Whisky Ambassador Consultant to elevate and promote your business – 15PL
  • Access to our network of Whisky personalities, Mixologists, Scottish Brand Ambassadors, Bar Consultants and Suppliers.


Qualifying Criteria

Venues must be committed to the following:


  • Employing at least two Certified Whisky Ambassadors
  • Having at least one Whisky Ambassador on shift at all times
  • Stocking a minimum of 100 different bottles of Scotch Malt Whisky
  • Stocking Blended and Grain Whisky from Scotland.


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