In a special crossover episode we combine United States of Dramerica and America the Beautiful Game. We talk to whisky lover and soccer expert Oliver Wyss. The former Swiss international youth player, coach, agent and soccer tech is now the President of Soccer at Orange County Soccer Club in the United Soccer League. We talk about the controversial new European Super League, his love of wine and then whisky and the state of soccer in the United States. Oliver tells us about working on Playing for Keeps with Gerard Butler, being sold expensive whisky at Glasgow airport and how much he enjoys work Orange County's partner club Glasgow Rangers. He talks about the transformation of US soccer, its continued shortcomings but also how they might win a World Cup in 2030. And why he wants to share a Bruichladdich Black Art with Michael Jordan.
This week's guest is Martin French, managing director at Berylls Strategy Advisors. We talk the future of driving, mobility, electrification and autonomous vehicles. Martin tells us why range anxiety should no longer be an issue, the joy of electric cars and the psychology of autonomous vehicle adoption. He explains why he doesn't own a car, his favorite driving experiences and the difference between mobility adoption in America and Europe. He also tells us why he wants to share a Redbreast with his grandfather and sharing a gin and tonic with Dame Judi Dench.
We talk to Scottish entrepreneur Chris Newlands, founder of space selfie company Spelfie. The navy veteran explains the genesis of his company, why he thinks people will want to take space selfies at live events and how clouds are Spelfie's enemy. He talks through the challenges of launching a start up in a global pandemic, the ways his company has adapted and his plans for expansion. Chris talks about his partnership with Airbus, selling space visible advertising and why he wants to share a Macallan with Barack Obama on the beach in Barbados.
We talk to Gary Gillan, the president of NARSA - the North American Rangers Supporters Association. He talks about his beloved club Rangers, how being further afield brings you closer to the club and the origins of NARSA. He talks about the sense of community that these fan groups create, how tough it has been during Covid and he feels closer to the club in Canada even though he used to have a season ticket. Gary tells us about the excitement around Rangers' season, what it will mean to win the league again after a ten year gap and reminds us all that Rangers are the most successful domestic team in global soccer. He explains the rivalry with Celtic, where Rangers would fit in the English game and the importance of European competition. And why he wants to share a whisky with the Beatles.
We talk to veteran whisky and luxury travel expert Ricky Crawford. He tells us about the growing importance of sustainable travel, how it's going to become more important post-pandemic and the genesis of his Amazon Prime show Leave No Trace. We talk about green luxury travel in Scotland, the purity of distilleries and his time as a roving whisky ambassador - including a disappointing trip to the Playboy Mansion. Ricky tells us about his new virtual Scottish corporate tour company - where he is one of the three Dram Good Laddies, what he misses about drinking whisky with friends and his love for the Maldives. And he tells us why he wants to drink a Glenlivet with George Clooney.
We talk to Jon Ryan, the Super Bowl winning punter from the Seattle Seahawks. He tells us about the feeling of being part of a Super Bowl and the euphoria of victory. He also tells us about the feeling of being part of a Super Bowl the following year and the agony of a narrow defeat to Tom Brady. Jon talks us through his Championship game touchdown, the first play-off touchdown ever thrown by a punter. We talk about punters tackling, some of Jon's highlight reel - mostly painful-looking hits - and the under-rated value of the CFL, and why playing in his home country was so important to him. There is also time to cover soccer - including his love for Swansea City and Jordan Morris' transfer there - and his new career as an owner of rugby and baseball teams. We also cover retirement, Brady, Gronk and whisky. And Jon tells us why he wants to drink bourbon with Jackie Robinson in a minor league dugout. A fantastic discussion with one of the game's popular figures.
We talk to event and marketing expert David Balfour. The Scot living in Dubai with plans to expand in to the US talks events, how the pandemic has changed the industry, what is possible now and what direction he thinks events will go in the future. He tells us how the uneven pace of recovery is creating opportunities, the huge appetite to return to live experiences and how Usher nearly ruined one of his first events in the US. David tells us about his favorite whisky, his sneaker collection and the appeal of life in Los Angeles. And why he wants to share a Wolfcraig whisky with Sir Alex Freguson.
We talk to David Mackay, the Chief Pilot for Virgin Galactic. He tells us his journey from a young boy in northern Scotland watching the moon landing on television to his own flight into space. David, who has more than 15k flying hours, talks about testing aircraft for the British Royal Air Force, his transition to commercial airliners for Virgin Atlantic and then his move to flying spacecraft for Virgin Galactic. He describes the simple joy of his first ever flight, the beautiful vistas he has captured from the cockpit of planes around the world and the thrill of flying into space and the unique experience and view. David talks through what a Virgin Galactic astronaut will experience, the types of passengers who have signed up for space travel and why he enjoys a post-flight Clynelish. And he tells us why he wants to share a whisky with Neil Armstrong.
We talk to whisky entrepreneur Steve Lipp, the man behind everything from Alexander Murray, to Costco's Kirkland whisky and also banana flavor bourbon sensation Howler Head. He tells us about how near-death experiences took him from the oil business to the whisky trade, why he named his brand after his great uncle and how a drowning fisherman helped Lagavulin 16 become his favorite whisky. He talks about banana bourbon - and his partnership with UFC owner Dana White, his beer/whisky partnership with Firestone Walker and what next for Costco whiskys. And why he wants to share a Lagavulin 16 with Sean Connery at the Pittodrie House Hotel.
We talk to former British Deputy Ambassador in Washington Patrick Davies. He talks about Biden's historic victory, the chaos of working with the Trump administration and what next for America. Having met President elect Biden many times, he talks about what sort of man he is, his relationship with Britain and his reputation for reaching out across the political divide. The author of a new book - the Great American Delusion - Patrick admits his fears about the huge divides in America, the myths that drive America to behave the way it does but his hopes for the country going forward. The former diplomat talks about conducting active shooter drills in the Embassy, how Britain and America are going down the same path and the need for electoral reform in the US. And why he wants to share a Macallan with historic Vice President Elect Kamala Harris on the White House lawn.
We talk to the multi-talented David Kwong about puzzling during lockdown, missing live audiences and his love of bringing magic to the big and small screens. David has leaned into the virtual world, hosting instagram live puzzles and now has a full set in his basement for the sold out 'Inside the Box' show. He tells us about compiling puzzles for the New York Times, his favorite magic history stories and working on movies like Now You See Me - where he had to literally tape a coin to Morgan Freeman's hand - and shows like Deception and Blindspot. We talk about the science of magic, taking advantage of faulty wiring in the brain and his TED talks about it. And he tells the amazing story of Chung Ling Soo. David drinks a Talisker 10 while I enjoy a Bunnahaibhain - which has the same Scrabble tile value as his name. Tickets for his new show are available here - https://www.geffenplayhouse.org/shows/inside-the-box/
We talk to former Glasgow Warrior and Scotland rugby player Ruiradh Jackson. We talk about retiring early due to Covid and transitioning to a career in whisky and gin. He tells us about the re-launch of Glenturret, Scotland's oldest working distillery, describes his frustration at the recent closures of the Scottish hospitality industry and the importance of alcohol for a winter in Scotland. Ruaridh describes the highs and lows of his rugby career, mental health in sport and learning to drink whisky to unwind after games. He tells us about his Garden Shed Gin business, ignoring criticism on Twitter and why he wants to share a Balvenie 14 with Bob Marley on a Scottish beach.
We talk to David Laird, newly appointed Luxury Portfolio Specialist for William Grant. He explains why people spend thousands on good whisky, why sales are up so much during the pandemic and why even the most expensive whisky is made to be drunk. Over Balvenie and Glenfiddich 21 we discuss high-end whisky packaging, a $1k cocktail and the importance of drinking the best whiskys sitting down and with as few other people as possible. He also talks about running a bar in Memphis, his brief professional soccer career and wanting to share a dram with his family.