Joel Harrison, 35, is an award winning writer and commentator, and creative consultant to the drinks business, aiming to enliven the world of distilled spirits to new drinkers while cementing the knowledge of those already invested in the category.
Drinks Writer and Presenter
In early 2008 Harrison co-founded one of the first major whisky blogs, Caskstrength.net. Now running the curated drinks site Worlds Best Spirits, he also regularly pens features for a number of different publications such as Whisky Magazine and The Wall Street Journal India (where he has a monthly column on drinks) as well as other magazines around the world.
Wider media work has seen television appearances on major daytime TV shows as well as radio work across the UK, America and India. He is also Deputy Editor of a new high-end whisky publication, Whisky Quarterly.
Harrison has recently finished a book, Distilled, co-written with his business partner Neil Ridley, out now on Mitchell Beazley/Octopus Books, which won the Best Drink Book 2015 at the Fortum & Mason Food and Drink Awards and has been shortlisted at one of the top 10 spirits books of 2015 at the Tails of the Cocktail 'Spiritied Awards'.
In 2012, Harrison received the Highly Commended accolade in the inaugural International Young Spirits Writer of the Year Award and has been made a Keeper of the Quaich, the highest honour in Scotch whisky.
In 2009 Harrison set up a creative marketing consultancy, Caskstrength Creative with his business partner Neil Ridley, which works in partnership with brand owners designing, developing and implementing creative concepts, new product development, copywriting, and range architecture as well as helping to enable vibrant and educated communication between customer and client; always thinking 'outside the bottle'.
Alongside consultancy work, Caskstrength Creative host drinks tastings. With in excess of 350 tastings held since 2009, the aim is to educate, entertain and inform potential new drinkers to the delights of distilled spirits. Clients have been as diverse as Investment Banks (Nomura & Deutsche Bank) and leading lights in the music industry (Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons, Polydor Records).
Harrison also sits as a judge on the IWSC awards, World Whisky Awards, the Spirits Masters and as the Chairman of the Independent Bottlers Challenge (whisky) as well as the Automobile Association Awards for the hospitality industry (The AA Awards).