Being a brand ambassador sounds like fun, right?
Gabriel Cardarella has been a North American Brand Ambassador for Dewar’s Scotch Whisky for the past 11 years. We asked Gabriel for a little insight into what it’s like to be a brand ambassador. Is this career path worth it? How did he end up working in this position? What exactly does he like about it? Let’s take a look at what Gabriel had to say.
Talk to us about your brand ambassador position—how did you come to work for Dewar’s?
Dewar’s found me, believe it or not. I was on tour, managing a band (probably in the middle of South Carolina somewhere, eating boiled peanuts in some gas station parking lot with a bandana around my head) when a recruiter called and asked if I’d like to travel the world and talk about whisky for a living. I remember thinking, “quick, someone pinch me, this isn’t real.” It turns out it was very real. A few short weeks after that, I was off on my first of what would be many trips to Scotland, and over the years I’ve had the chance to learn what makes Scotch, and Dewar’s so special.
What are some of your favorite things about working as a brand ambassador?
Dewar’s has an incredible story, which makes the liquid so much more enjoyable(add exclamation). I’m a whisky expert, and with an authentic brand like Dewar’s, I’m also a raconteur. Sure, my life isn’t disrupted by routine (which I love), but I firmly believe that good whisky becomes great when sharing it with great people over great stories.
What should bartenders know about following this same career path?
For starters, one should know know that being successful in the matters of having plants, pets, or a girlfriend/boyfriend will be a very big challenge. However, at the very least be in love with travel. The way I look at things is, if I’m lucky to see 80 and there’s a stack of paper and a pen in front of me, and if I were to fill those pages with the story of my life, would people want to read it? A life (and career) as a whisky ambassador has been much more than my job, it’s been my lifestyle – be sure that serving the brand matches your lifestyle. Your passion will be reflected in your job, and you will inspire, motivate, and set a high bar for the lucky individual who takes the helm after you; they’ll all read on.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I’m most proud when the folks I train or introduce to the brand exit our conversation with a renewed (or new) excitement about Dewar’s. I’m proud that our team at Dewar’s allows me to serve the brand as myself, but lately, I’m most proud of our Master Blender, Stephanie MacLeod. In a role typically dominated by males, Stephanie has risen as not just a leader of women in the industry, but as a leader in Whisky. For example, most recently she became the first master blender to win Master Blender of the Year three years in a row, but is also the first woman to do it. Her innovation is producing some of the most interesting (and awarded) spirits in the world, and I’m honored to be a part of the team that gets to brag on her behalf.
What do you wish to accomplish as an ambassador for the brand?
I would like to leave behind a legacy that sets a standard for how to be an ambassador for a brand. I want the person that follows me to be passionate, hungry, agile, inspired, but most importantly, friendly. That way, when I am sipping on my Dewar’s while writing my book about my life, I can see and feel their passion, which I helped inspire them to embody for the Dewar’s Brand.