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BBR appoints new spirits curator

Berry Bros. & Rudd has appointed Felix Dear, the former world whisky and spirits buyer at Atom Brands, as its new spirits curator ahead of the launch of its first standalone spirits shop this Spring. 

Dear takes over from Jonny McMillan, who is leaving BBR, where he has been spirits reserve manager for the last seven years to open his own whisky distillery.

He joins from Atom Brands where he was heavily involved in selecting whisky casks from across the world for bottling. Prior to this he was a whisky ambassador for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, having spend time working in Speyside, working with the Inn to select casks for bottling. He started his career in the drinks industry organising whisky tastings, which gradually expanded into private events and later the creation of a pop-up whisky bar and café.

Dear said it was a “privilege” to join Berry Bros. & Rudd, and he wanted to build upon the foundations laid by his predecessor by collaborating with emerging, new wave and new world whisky distilleries to bring fresh and unique whisky experiences to BBR’s customers, as  well as working closely with Scotch producers and pushing the boundaries of spirit exploration. “Additionally, this role offers a unique opportunity to showcase and promote sustainable practices across the industry which I’ve always had a passion for and aligns perfectly with our brand’s ethos,” he said. “Nurturing relationships and fostering connections with like-minded whisky lovers has always driven my desire to work in this sector.”

He elaborated on his approach, explaining that “when selecting casks and distilleries, I look for those that demonstrate exceptional craftsmanship, a spirit of innovation, a commitment to quality, and a genuine passion for creating outstanding whiskies”

“It’s about finding partners who share our dedication to excellence,” he said, arguing that “The future looks bright for independent bottlers. As the whisky world continues to evolve, there’s a growing demand for diverse and unique styles. Independent bottlers are well positioned to offer a variety of exceptional whiskies that showcase the richness and diversity of the spirit beyond what a single distillery can offer.

In June, the company announced it would open its first standalone spirits shop next door to its iconic headquarters in St James’s, as a sister premise to the existing wine shop at 63 Pall Mall.


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