Being intrigued by whisky causes the constant desire to learn more. That quest for knowledge, and your next dram, can lead to responses to certain advertisers, brand ambassadors and tasting events.
When I was in the midst of writing about the Universal Whisky Experience I wanted to know which of the whisky people I was following on social media might be attending the same show in Las Vegas. When I learned that Rolex Whisky would be there, aka Gavin Linde, I was a little thrilled.
We did meet, we did share a dram, but it wasn’t enough as the event was so grand, and neither of us wanted to miss a moment of it, we settled on emailing later. And for me, as a writer, getting Gavin to do one of my 5-question interviews.
Here’s what I knew:
Rare Whisky & Rolex Collector Whisky hunter + Rolex gatherer + Influencer + Grocery Brand builder + Superdad (no cape) + adoring husband + foodie + traveler. #thescotchfellas. RolexWhisky on Instagram, 24.9k followers
San Diego whisky, bourbon & Rolex enthusiast, brand influencer, and rare Asian whisky hunter. RolexWhisky on Facebook
Here’s what I asked:
1. Gavin, what exactly do you do with whisky and Rolex watches, besides collecting? Are you a brand ambassador of sorts, or something else? (Basically asking if this is your day job for money or just for pleasure?)
I am a collector at heart, I have always been since a kid. I started with unique to each series Rolex watches, since as a kid I always wanted one, and I said one day I will get myself one. Well that turned into 5 so far, and there are a few more I want to get still, but there is no rush.
I have been a whisky drinker since I was 18 living in South Africa, and 3 years ago a friend of mine approached me to look for rare whiskies for his friend. That turned into what you see here, I now have contacts all over the world and actively search for rare ones for my private collection.
The end goal is to liquidate it all in 15 years to put my kids through college; that’s what I say, but lets talk in 15 years, lol. In the meantime, I drink some of them, get to hang out and meet amazing people, and this hobby has turned into a passion project. I am not a brand ambassador, but I am close to a few brands that I have resonated with as far as their liquor and their brand ambassadors.
I really had no idea this hobby was going to grow like this, and I love being a part of the community, educating others, travelling, drinking amazing whisky, and the goal by the end of this year is create something fun and exciting. My full time jobs are realtor, VP of sales for 2 natural grocery brands, and business development for my father’s promotional printing company.
2. Why the connection between fine whisky and watches? What sent you in that direction?
I started my Instagram originally to document a day in the life of my Rolexes. Then I got into Whisky and decided to change the name and come up with something memorable, so one of my mentors suggested putting one of my watches in every picture, and the other said call yourself rolexwhisky. So there you have it, it just came together naturally.
3. Dare we ask, how many bottles of whisky do you currently have in your own liquor cabinet? And more than one Rolex too?
I have around 400 bottles, primarily Japanese whisky as that is what really got me passionate about the business; I then went after the bourbons and ryes, and just recently got into the scotch bottles. I currently have 5 Rolex watches, each a unique one in the style, and of course investment pieces as they are unique and hard to come by easily.
4. Living in La Jolla, what are the bars and/or restaurants you recommend to visiting whisky lovers?
Wow, I get asked that a lot, I have a really hard time drinking out in public since I know the cost of the bottles. My go to places are Seven Grand and Whiskey House. I am trying to work with restaurants to step up their whisky game, help curate their lists for them, and not just let the liquor rep put whatever in there. One of my goals this year is to work with a few restaurants to do this, and put my stamp and my Instagram behind it.
5. What are your future plans?
To educate and get more people involved in whisky and show them some amazing brands they have never heard of. My wife’s girlfriends come by and I love introducing them to great brands I enjoy drinking. I want to be a brand ambassador for a brand I am passionate about, but more like an insta ambassador. I want to travel and visit more distilleries and go to new events. I want to build my total picture, offer luxury tastings, help people find hard to find whiskys.
People ask me the end goal, I want to create a brand that people know and understand its passion. It would be cool for some millionaire to hire me to build the ultimate whisky bar for their home too. You just never know with me. I do know I look forward to making more true friends, drinking great whisky, and always have a good time doing this. Whatever this is I love introducing people to my passion, and brands that I love drinking. I love interacting with my Instagram followers and friends, and bonus is getting to meet each other, just like we did, that is what makes this all so fun.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com