A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
The UK event, which was held at RSA House in London and was part of a wider qualification for the global final in October, saw Seagraves compete against eight bartenders.
Seagraves' superior pouring skills and brand knowledge won him £5,000 and a place among a global field of bartenders at the International Master Bartender final in Pilsen, Czech Republic.
The overall champion will take home a prize of €10,000.
The UK final is the culmination of an educational training programme run by Miller Brands for the Czech beer.
Along with brand training, including lessons on how to achieve the ‘perfect pour’ of Pilsner Urquell, bartenders were given access to training materials from pilsnerurquell.co.uk.
Lucy Jordan, director of trade marketing at Miller Brands, said: “The quality of the bartenders taking part in the Pilsner Urquell Master Bartender programme is improving every year.”
“It’s inspiring to see so much skill, passion and knowledge displayed by these professionals. Paul really stood out from the other finalists thanks to his unrivalled knowledge of Pilsner Urquell and exemplary bar skills.”