Salim Evin – wywiad

W listopadzie opisywaliśmy whisky od młodej firmy o nazwie Chapter 7 i test wypadł przyzwoicie szczególnie jak na tak młodą firmę. Właścicielowi zadaliśmy kilka pytań by lepiej poznać specyfikę pracy niezależnego botlera i przyjrzeć się jak, dlaczego powstają tego typu inicjatywy. Ciekawiło nas także w jaki sposób wybierane są beczki i jak takie osoby jak Salim Evin widzą swoją przyszłość w tym dynamicznie zmieniającym się przemyśle. Czytając wywiad i obserwując najważniejszych botlerów na rynku ważna jest cierpliwość i długofalowe patrzenie w przyszłość przy budowaniu swojego portfolio. By móc mieć tą możliwość potrzebna jest wiedza, dobre znajomości w branży i umiejętność wyboru po prostu dobrych whisky. Czy to wszystko ma Chapter 7 rynek zweryfikuje za kilka lat a teraz zobaczmy jaki pomysł ma Salim Evin by odnieść sukces na rynku whisky single malt i w jaki sposób dobiera whisky dla swojej firmy.


Zapraszamy do zapoznania się z wywiadem:

Grzegorz Nowicki i Salim Evin na selfie :)

Grzegorz Nowicki i Salim Evin na selfie 🙂

Grzegorz Nowicki:   What was the idea of founding Chapter 7?

Salim Evin: I started my career in tobacco industry in 1995 that took me to a 10-year journey from Kazakhstan to South Africa and than to Switzerland. I travelled a lot and worked in various countries. In my last 4 years in the industry, I was involved in sales in travel retail channel and that’s where I observed the rise of Single Malts and the idea and desire to be a part of the industry was formed. Not only I saw a good business opportunity but also I wanted to do something that I truly enjoy in life. My grandfather is Scottish and he has been passing on his passion to me at an early age. This was my dream job and business!

In 2004 I left tobacco industry and started a small business in seafood processing and exportation. In 2011, I made my first approaches to the Scotch Whisky Industry with the idea of launching an independent bottler’s brand and established contacts that would help me in realising my dream later on. I sent the first brief to my communication agency to start working on Chapter 7™ in July 2013 and bottled the first edition of Chapter 7™ one year later.

As you can see, I haven’t been a long time in the industry but if you ask my personal connection to Scotch, it goes back to my childhood pouring my Scottish grandfather’s drams!

GN:  How do you choose casks?

SE: Chapter 7™ is a new company so I do not chose whiskies at the production stage. This kind of purchasing needs big finance and only some distilleries are accessible if you are ready to buy bulk whisky in tankers. I have several sources for aged whisky in casks. First, usually brokers that have access to aged stock from distilleries in large quantities. This allows me to chose my casks amongst many. Another is brokers that come across a couple of „chosen” casks a month for spot buying. Here I always tend to ask for samples from the casks and sometimes can not buy because by the time I get the samples, the casks are sold! Lastly, I buy younger casks aged between 3-7 years old to age them or to re-rack them in different finishings. Chapter 7™ Peatside 2008 is a good example of that where I acquired a Speyside Peated Whisky and finished it in a Port Cask. In the future I have plans to invest more in young whiskies to build up substantial stocks for the future.

GN:   Is the choice of good casks is more difficult than in the past?

SE: Like most highly demanded commodities, finding older single malts for bottling is becoming difficult. It is not only for the independent bottlers like myself but you see it across the industry. All the big names of whisky are releasing NAS whiskies because the stock of aged single malts are limited and they are decreasing due to high demand. I believe in quality whisky in a good cask. Age is of secondary concern for me. So, yes it is more difficult to find high quality aged casks than 5 years ago but this also has a positive effect on the wood policies of distilleries and independent bottlers. We try to use good wood to have whisky aged in for good results in a shorter time. Chapter 7™ Miltonduff 2008 won Silver Medal in Spirits Cup in Germany because it is only a 6 Years Old whisky but it has developed a sophisticated character in a good cask in 6 years and in blind tastings people would think it is a whisky of 12-15 YO.

GN:  We want to buy a few casks in future. Do you have any advice for us ?

SE: Depends on your intentions. If you like to keep the casks in Scotland for ageing or if you would like to bottle them straight. Ardnamunchan Distillery is an interesting one where you can buy and age and they can bottle it for you when it reaches the age. I believe Ardnamunchan Distillery will become very popular in time. You can also try some brokers that have a portfolio of different casks and they can take care of your whisky in their warehouses. In this case you can go for an older cask say 5-7 YO or you can opt straight for a 15-20 Yo one.

GN:  If you had to pick 3 best whisky from Chapter 7 – what would you choose?

SE: Tormore 1995, 19 Years Old – 94.5 points from Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible

Allt-a Bhainne 1996, 18 Years Old – 91.5 Points from Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible

Ben Nevis 1996, 18 Years Old – one of my favourites

GN:  What is the best Independent bottler in the World – except of course Chapter 7:) ?

SE: This is a very difficult question! There are established ones that bottle huge quantities of editions per year and have huge access to whisky stocks. Is everything they bottle brilliant? Not necessarily. 

Smaller companies have less access at a higher price but sometimes they can not reach those casks with the big name and age label. This forces them to find the hidden gems from lesser-known distilleries. So everybody in the industry serves a purpose.

For me innovation and adding value is very important so companies like Compass Box, Wemyss Malts or Douglas Laing are companies I watch with great admiration because of the good blending job they do to create excellent blended malts.

GN:  What can we expect in end of this year from Chapter 7?

SE: I would like to launch the first „small batch” editions from Chapter 7™. One is going to be called Chapter 7™ „tradition” Speyside Single Malt. It is a Single Malt of vatted casks from a single distillery with minimum age of 7 years old. Far from pretention, it will give the consumer the taste of real traditional single malt produced with tradition and aged in bourbon casks and bottled at 43%. Also I will launch another „small batch”  Chapter 7™.Highland Single Malt of 19 Years Old. This one will be avatiing of Sherry Butts from a Highland Distillery. I have a couple of cask like Glen Moray 25 yo, Strathmill 24 yo, Benrinnes 18 yo, Irish Single Malts 16 yo Rum Finish as well hitting the selves.

 Apart from that I am launching, a web-store dedicated to whisky tasting where you can purchase ready to buy whisky tasting sets (both Chapter 7™ and mainstream whiskies) and chose amongst our collection of 5 cl whisky tubes to build your own whisky tasting set.

Thank you and good luck!


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