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Dropping In On… Liam Sparks:
Sazerac UK’s Head of the Prestige Channel

Interview | June 6, 2024

“I head up the Prestige Channel in the UK for Sazerac, looking after Luxury and specialist and Prestige On Trade”

Say hello to Liam SparksSazerac UK’s Head of the Prestige Channel, and one of The Last Drop team. Liam is no stranger to the drinks industry, and has worked in both hospitality – as a bartender – and on the corporate side, including various sales, brand and advocacy roles.

Liam has been with Sazerac UK for four years but worked with Pernod Ricard – one of the world’s leading premium spirits companies – for 21 years in both the UK and Ireland. There, he set up and led The Artisanal Brand Company, its incubator programme established to build brands of the future.

Whisk(e)y has always been a passion for Liam and he has worked with some of the world’s most renowned distilleries, including Midleton Distillery (Irish Distillers), many of the Chivas distilleries and now Buffalo Trace Distillery – as well as The Last Drop Distillers.

What does your position with Sazerac and The Last Drop entail?
I head up the Prestige Channel in the UK for Sazerac, looking after Luxury and specialist and Prestige On Trade. My portfolio consists of everything from the Buffalo Trace Distillery, including the management of allocated lines – such as The Buffalo Trace Antique Collection and Pappy Van Winkle as well as our Super Premium range from The Last Drop Distillers. My day to day role is a mix of Sales, Marketing, Advocacy, Training and Education.

What has been your proudest / most remarkable moment while in your role?
The launch of The Assembly with The Last Drop. We launched the formation of this unique group of experts at a lunch event at The Connaught Hotel, introducing the entire Assembly in person to both On and Off Trade customers. It was an event that took many months of planning, and launched the Assembly and The Last Drop brand to Retail and On Trade customers alike. The Coburg Bar at The Connaught is one of my flagship accounts – it pours Buffalo Trace and lists my entire portfolio. It’s also one of the 5* hotels in London where you can enjoy several Last Drop offerings by the glass, including the Signature Creations from both Colin Scott and Drew Mayville.

What’s next for you with Sazerac and The Last Drop?
Continue to build awareness for both The Last Drop Distillers and the wider Sazerac portfolio. We’ve just launched the Buffalo Trace Distillery store London in Covent Garden, we have some amazing releases coming from Buffalo Trace this year in the form of Eagle Rare 25 and Weller Millenium. From Last Drop Distillers, it is the 2024 Collection including Release No. 34: a 40 Year Old Auchentoshan, Release No. 35, the 22 Year Old Infinitum Rum and Release No. 36: a 55 Year Old Tomintoul… Plenty to keep me going!

What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Generally… To be at home with my family or holidaying in Ireland or Portugal. Being out so much in trade, my weekends tend to be restful ones! I’m also a season ticket holder at Arsenal, so I’m always there on matchdays.

Luckily there’s always something nice in my glass at the end of the day!

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