The ‘best sommelier in the world’ swaps wine for whiskey

Raimonds Tomsons, who earlier this year won the ASI (Association de la Sommellerie Internationale) World’s Best Sommelier competition, has been announced as the new global brand ambassador for The Craft Irish Whiskey Co.

Tomsons from Latvia won the competition held in February at the La Defense Arena in Paris after the finals, in which he was judged on his tasting and serving skills, as well as his pairing skills – with candidates tasked with finding soft drinks to complement the vegan dishes.

Now Tomsons will apply his expertly trained nose and palate to his new role at luxury whiskey producer The Craft Irish Whiskey Co.

Founded in 2018 by Jay Bradley, the company creates rare and ultra-rare Irish whiskeys, including The Emerald Isle set, worth a staggering US$2 million. making it one of the most expensive whiskeys in the world.

Commenting on his new role, Tomsons said: “Joining the team at The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. is an exciting milestone in my professional career. To me, being a sommelier means constantly learning and exploring the diverse world of wine, spirits and other beverages.”

Although Tomsons has become famous for his work in the field of wine, having been a member of the board of directors of the Latvian Sommelier Association and working with many top restaurants and importers in Latvia, his professional interest in slightly stronger drinks is nothing new: “Good whiskey has always been distilled a drink I particularly liked so I joined Jay [Bradley] and his team as a global brand ambassador, I will have the opportunity to learn from the best, explore premium Irish whiskey in depth and work on innovative whiskey and food pairings, share my knowledge and passion with others and enhance the overall experience.”

Bradley added: “Raimonds’ depth of knowledge and his ability to perceive nuances and layers of flavor are a perfect match for my way of crafting whiskies, each bottle offering a unique complexity of flavors thanks to our pioneering approach to barrel-craft. Welcome Raimonds, I look forward to everything we will achieve together.”

The hiring of Tomsons is one sign of the growing interest in The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. for fine dining as an area to promote its products – the second is that the company is an official Whiskey of the World partner of the world’s 50 best restaurants.

Elvira Parkinson

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