About Spencer Gooderham
I’ll never forget my first sip of whisky…
I was 8 years old. No joke. My Father came into my room bringing with him a small 50mL sampling bottle of Gooderham & Worts Original Four Grain Whisky. He waxed poetic about our family heritage, our forefathers as titans of industry, and a legacy that for the most part was lost in time. He explained the importance of the bottle, and that it should be cherished for generations to come as I continue the legacy of our family that built this country. He handed me the bottle in a metaphorical passing of the torch; a family heirloom that should never be opened. Naturally, as soon as he stepped out of my room, I immediately cracked open the bottle and took a big swig to see what the fuss was all about! Needless to say, that first sip of whisky did not stay down. However, that moment has never left me. The pride my Father instilled in me and the stories he told me left a lasting impression. From that moment on I knew that my purpose in life was to share our family story, to share history, and most importantly, to share whisky with people we love.
That has never changed for me since that day when I was eight. I knew my path in life, I was bound for the whisky industry… but I always joke that it’s not exactly something your guidance councillor helps you out with in high school. As a young man I had a knack for sciences and found myself in Kinesiology and later in graduate school for Public Health. After grad school I landed an amazing job at a management consulting firm downtown, but after a few months into the job I was miserable – I went to bed every single night thinking about how I could get into the whisky industry. So, after a particularly sleepless night, I went into work and quit on the spot! Within a couple of weeks, I had packed up my car and embarked on an epic road trip across the country to visit distilleries, learn the industry, and attend the distillation course at the Artisan Craft Distilling Institute, just outside of Seattle.
From that moment on, I never looked back. The course was incredible, and I visited over 25 distilleries in both Canada and the USA on the road. To this day, the most memorable part of the trip was the people. The distillers, blenders, coopers, and bartenders who brought the spirits to life. I then was given the opportunity to serve as the Canadian Whisky Brand Ambassador for one of the top spirit companies on the planet.
My world opened up in ways I could never imagine. And most importantly, I was living out my childhood dream of sharing my family story, the Canadian Whisky story, with people across the country. And that I did. For three incredible years, I trained at our distillery and travelled non-stop from coast-to-coast holding whisky tastings, pairing dinners, masterclasses, guest bartending shifts, and private functions. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. I will cherish those memories and experiences for the rest of my life.
My passion for whisky and the spirit industry has never been stronger. I had worked with Whisky Quarterly Ontario on a few events, and when the opportunity became available to help them expand the awareness of their own spirit brands – Of course I was interested.
Here’s to good health, old stories, and new friends.