30-somethings Joel Harrison (left) and Neil Ridley (right) met over a dram of whisky whilst working as A&R guys for rival major record companies.
In 2008 they decided to dedicate their careers to the finer things in life and became drinks writers, setting up the award winning whisky blog Caskstrength.net and writing for a number of different publications such as Whisky Magazine, The Chap, Imbibe, The Evening Standard, City AM, Aston Martin Magazine and Mint (The Wall Street Journal India). Joel and Neil also sit as judges on the World Whisky Awards, Independent Bottlers Challenge and the Whisky Masters.
At the beginning of 2011, they set up Caskstrength Creative, working closely with drinks companies to link brands with music as well as providing creative marketing solutions and digital marketing consultancy. Neil has also contributed to several best-selling whisky books such as Cutty Sark: The Making Of A Whisky Brand and The Malt Whisky Year Book 2012.
Joel & Neil have approached the whisky world with an irreverent and independently-minded spirit and in the last two years the duo have hosted over 250 whisky tastings around the world to a range of audiences as diverse as Investment Banks (Nomura & Detusche Bank) and leading lights in the music industry including Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons and Polydor Records.
With Caskstrength Creative, Joel & Neil have consulted for a number of high profile drinks companies such as Jameson Irish Whiskey, Suntory, Diageo, Glenfiddich, Pernod Ricard, GC Watches, Highland Park & Cutty Sark, developing creative approaches to new product launches and broadening the appeal of whisky in particular to a younger demographic.
Their approach is simple: dispel the myths and misunderstanding, which have stood as a barrier for so many drinkers, eager to experience the many flavours and aromas which make whisky such an exciting drink.
If you would like to book Joel and Neil to host a whisky tasting, email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.