Born early March 1945 and been married since 1966 with 2 sons, 1 daughter and 3 grandchildren.
Before he retired in October 2005, Robert Hicks was Master Blender for Allied Distillers for many years. There he was responsible for the quality and flavour of many world famous whisky brands. Some of the most well known were Ballantine’s, Teachers and Laphroaig. Since retiring he has started his own Scotch Whisky Consultancy to maintain his interest in the industry.
Since November 2005 he has been contracted to Beam Suntory as Consultant Master Blender for Teachers Highland Cream Blended Scotch Whisky, and Laphroaig Islay Single Malt and Ardmore Highland Single Malt Whiskies. He is also Brand Ambassador for these 3 whiskies and has been all over the world representing them since taking up this position.
He started working in the Scotch Whisky industry late in 1964 and, after gaining knowledge of most functions in the industry joined George Ballantine & Sons in 1970 as Assistant Blender, rising over the years to the position of Master Blender.
His expertise covers all parts of the industry from Distilling, Maturation, Blending and Bottling through to Marketing. This, together with his wide-ranging knowledge of whiskies in all its styles throughout the world was significant to the responsibility he held within Allied Domecq.
Being awarded first ever Distiller of the Year Trophy by the International Spirits Challenge in 1998 was seen as a highlight in his career but this was enhanced when he subsequently was awarded the title again in 1999 and 2003. He was also awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for services to the industry in 2005 and has just received his second Lifetime Achievement Award on November 10th 2010 at the New York Whisky Fest.
A perfect example of the many varied brands he has developed over his many years in the industry was his production of Laphroaig ¼ Cask which, in the words of Allied Domecq’s Malts Brands Director “to produce this exciting and unique Laphroaig variant is a tribute to the skills of Robert Hicks our master blender who has overseen every step of this unrivalled process”.