Introducing Ken Hames
I have always been in love with the great outdoors and its ability to engage and inspire. Immersed in the basic elements the mind and body come alive, refreshed and retuned for exciting possibilities. In fact, re-aligned with that which is important. It is in the wild that many of the raw materials for a fulfilling life are found as each new horizon invokes a sense of wonder and curiosity. For me, every day of the beaten track has been special, in particular when shared with friends, sitting waiting for the sun to set and sharing that moment.
I have always carried whisky into the great outdoors, in every continent in the world. Somehow at the end of a hard day whether its bush or arctic, desert or jungle, just a dram can make a real difference -a punctuation of success and a metaphor for strength, purity and achievement. And so I followed my heart to become an advocate and ambassador for Islay's finest Single Malt and rapidly my love grew for this amazing brand, its history and its people. Theirs is a skill and a wonderful story to be retold by adventurers like me who carry a precious dram into the rugged and wild parts of our world. My aim is to spread the word, share the success and celebrate the pure spirit of adventure with the sound of the sea in my ear and the mountain ahead...
Not long after my ambassadorial role started with Bowmore I found myself in one of the remotest parts of South America in the Langanates Mountains of the High Andes looking for Inca Gold. The terrain reminded me of Scotland with steep mountain sides and waterfalls, but it was difficult to navigate through swirling mists and quaking bogs, knowing that there was no map and that the GPS would not work! In that first two weeks we exhausted ourselves and the gold, as elusive as ever, was really in our minds, a product of the stark beauty around us and the occasional glimpse of the sun, the god's way of telling us that they knew we were true. On our return to civilization we toasted them in true Scottish fashion after an 18 hour 40 mile day with 12000 feet of ascent!
A few days on and I carried my small supply of Bowmore Single Malt in a plastic bottle - sacrilege you might say but it was the only way of guaranteeing its survival to the top of one of one of the world's most violent and dangerous volcanoes. We never touched a drop till the end, being undeserved of its purity while we struggled upward. But there was a moment over the High Andes with the sun setting where we took the purest glacial water and added a drop to our reward. The result was great satisfaction for a job well done where for a moment we had it all, the mountain the sea and the new day to come.