Miriam Rune

Auction Curator

Since cutting her PR teeth with clients in the arts in Scotland, including theatre, music, cinema and publishing, Miriam has managed media and communications strategies for businesses, small and large, and independent professionals, in the spirits industry and luxury retail. Her appreciation of a good dram, and a love of the hospitality world, with all its warmth and energy, have led her to represent Cask 88 and be involved in a variety of their projects. She knows the virtues of Scotch whisky inside and out, and is on a mission to spread the good news.

Tokyo, London and New York are among the locations where Miriam has had the pleasure of hosting media and client events, with the aim to communicate the rich history, science and storytelling which surrounds a great bottle of whisky. She has more recently picked up the gavel (metaphorically speaking) to curate Cask 88’s new online cask auctions, the first online platform dedicated to auctioning whole casks of Scottish whisky.

Sam Laing

Head of Content

Ever since his grandmother rubbed a few drops of her preferred blended Scotch on his gums to ease the emergence of his first teeth, Sam Laing has had a connection with whisky. Since moving to Scotland five years ago Sam has become ever more devoted to a good dram. His background in Biological Science focused his curiosity on the hidden science behind the spirit – the unique alchemy that each distillery works in creating its own style.

Sam spent a stint working at the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh where he introduced countless new aficionados to Scotch, uprooted the concerns of whisky sceptics and reassured those who had already taken first steps on their own whisky odyssey that their path was a righteous one. Sam brings this same spirit to Cask 88, guiding whisky enthusiasts and new converts alike along the path of whisky appreciation and cask ownership. He writes the Cask 88 blog with aplomb, and though his train of thought may skip stations on the route, we all arrive at the destination as better people.

Ryan McCafferty

Sales and Operations Director

Having spent a career immersed in the sale and presentation of premium craft spirits, Ryan now leads our UK-based sales team, while providing guidance to teams internationally. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh, where he studied Astrophysics, his analytical brain is now employed in a role that combines his expertise and his passion. He started on this path during his period of study, having graduated quickly from enjoying whisky and real ale tastings to hosting them himself. He has an undeniable taste for the finer things and brings a laser-sharp focus to whisky appreciation. Never a snob, though, he’s equally happy with a cold tinny and a Scotch pie.

During time spent in various roles at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, he hosted over 200 masterclass tastings, festival events, participated in tasting panels and wrote official society tasting notes. Extensive experience with luxury hospitality brands, including the management of two bar and lounge outlets at The Caledonian Waldorf Astoria 5* hotel, and supervision of the bar at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, ensure Ryan is ideally positioned to manage our portfolio of premium brands and offer an unmatched luxury experience for our discerning client base.

Seoyoung ‘Mila’ Kang

Executive Assistant

A flair for business, along with extensive hospitality experience and a developed aptitude for wine and spirits appreciation, have prepared Seoyoung for the challenges at Cask 88. Having studied at both Kyung Hee University and the University of Edinburgh Business School, she has strong business acumen and analytical skills. Her knowledge of wine and spirits is second to none, and she holds Sommelier certification with the Korea International Sommelier Association and the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Having travelled widely and hedonistically, Seoyoung is a connoisseur of exotic foods and drinks, which lend her a unique insight into whisky.

With funding won from the Korean Government’s ‘Challenge 1000 Projects’ contest in 2014, Seyoung co-founded Ga Yang Chu, a successful consulting business for marketing and branding strategies for small-sized Korean wine makers. To the Cask 88 office, she brings a love of whisky, an entrepreneurial mindset and an infectious personality, which energises those around her.

Patrick Costello

APAC Sales Director

Born in New Zealand, but having spent his childhood in Edinburgh, Scotland, before attending University in Glasgow, Patrick’s entry into the whisky industry is a tale of a hobby developing into a career. He started collecting whisky in 2011 with his brother, while working in the cocktail industry, which really sparked a passion for the high end spirits industry.

While completing an internship in Mongolia, Patrick noticed how enthusiasm for Scottish whisky was spreading rapidly across Asia and this helped him realise the market potential. When offered a role with Cask 88 in 2015, he took the chance to meld his passion and career. His fondness for whisky comes clearly across whenever he is given the chance to speak about it, and he has consulted for and hosted engaging tastings with prestigious clients, such as the Peninsula Shanghai, in locations as diverse as Singapore, Russia, China and the UK.

The first whisky Patrick really enjoyed was the Dalmore King Alexander III, which he remembers sharing with three friends on Jura after a week-long trip visiting all the distilleries on Islay and Jura. Patrick wants to share his great love for the Scottish whisky industry, which offers exceptional hospitality, warmth and conviviality – a warm-heartedness large enough to have spread far beyond Scotland’s borders.

Fraser Hynd

Sales Manager

Every single whisky journey is unique, and Fraser’s is no exception. After 25 years within Sales and Sales Management, that included a spell running his own business, Fraser is now living his whisky dream with Cask 88. He is a proud Scot; and cites the history, heritage, landscape and its people as a continual inspiration: “To be able to promote our incredible quality and range of Scottish Whisky to a global marketplace is both an honour and challenge in equal measure. My own whisky collection has grown along with an ever-increasing desire to taste, find and offer more incredible liquid each new day.”

Fraser is always happy to offer advice and guide clients in an honest and straightforward way, and prides himself on customer retention and the loyalty of his clients. If not in Castle Street, he can be found stravaiging the hills and mountains, visiting a distillery or warehouse, soaking in the historical monuments and sites of Scotland, or just relaxing with a rather large dram.

Favourite Malts: Caol Ila, Highland Park, Rosebank and Dallas Dhu

Favourite Blend: Old Perth

Favourite Grain: Cambus

Ola Lopatowska

Sales Development Manager

Ola’s career has seen her regularly immersed in the world of whisky, while developing her sales and business development experience in general. Three years spent at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society – where she was responsible for the accounts of approximately 200 corporate members and agencies, managing private events and whisky tastings, while supervising whisky stock. The SMWS is well known for the creative genius of its tasting notes, and Ola continues to have an inimitable flair for telling a whisky what it really is.

Those with a passion for motorbikes will have lots to discuss with Ola, given her couple of years as a sales consultant with Harley-Davidson in Edinburgh. One dream job led her to another, this time returning her to whisky, though you can still sometimes find her blasting around on a dirtbike when she’s not got a whisky in her system. Ola’s sense of adventure, her eye for detail and passion for a great dram are well-employed in her role at Cask 88. She is an enthusiastic and expert guide to all those wishing to explore the wonders that Scotland has to offer.

Stu Cox

Lead Creative Designer

With experience of designing products for major luxury brands in the spirits world and beyond, Stu is the ideal candidate to make your whisky dream a reality. During a period of study at Northumbria University and Bristol School of Art & Design, he worked with many recognisable brands, such as TATA Motors of India, Michelin, Tag Heuer, Jones & Bowen of London. He has designed shop fit and visual merchandising for various blue chip retailers and, while working with a previous employer, designed drinks related products for a wide range of global, luxury brands, hotels and bars, including Absolut, Chivas Brothers, William Grant & Sons, Bacardi, The Savoy and The Connaught Hotel. If you’re an avid spirits collector, you may already have one of Stu’s designs on your shelf!

Stu nearly broke the internet in 2011 when his design was pinned on numerous websites internationally. The winner of a 2011 graphics competition, Stu’s artwork is now a permanent installation mural in the Business and Law School at Northumbria University. Now turning his creative attention full on to whisky, we anticipate some breathtaking new designs.

James Zorab

Operations Manager

The study of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath has provided a solid technical background for James’ career in the wine and spirits industry. Whisky making is, after all, one of the greatest feats in this delicate art. Starting as a Wine Advisor with Oddbins, James moved quickly into the world of whisky, spending four years at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society as a brand ambassador. In that role, he hosted large groups of up to 1,300 whisky enthusiasts for master classes, conducted intimate tastings for small groups, and managed stalls at whisky festivals. His nose was entrusted with the delicate task of choosing which casks to present to the society.

While a Single Malts Brand Ambassador for William Grant & Sons and Whyte & Mackay brands in the MIddle East and North Africa, James encouraged trade and consumer appreciation and understanding of the single malt category. James brings warehouse experience, consumer engagement skills and a finely-tuned nose for whisky appreciation to the Cask 88 team in Edinburgh.

Cat Marney

Social Media Manager

Sherry bombs, early mornings in the Highlands and late night drams; a few of Cat Marney’s favourite things. Cat received two simultaneous educations in Scotland’s capital city: one studying language and writing at the University of Edinburgh and the other studying all the facets of whisky at The Scotch Whisky Experience. She put her language skills to the test in that role, giving tours to people from all over the globe and hosting tastings for large groups of whisky novices. Upon finishing her degree Cat went back to Glasgow to work as a Finance and Marketing Assistant for the newly opened Clydeside Distillery. There she managed to gain some hands-on experience with the art of making Scotch whisky, as well as switching her role during whisky tastings, from presenter to note-taker, fastidiously taking down details to share with the extended whisky world. Since 2020 Cat has been managing Cask 88’s social media accounts, as well as writing blogs and working on Cask 88’s Youtube series.

Struan Logan

Sales Manager

Scottish through-and-through, Struan Logan grew up roaming the Ayrshire and Arran countryside before heading to the University of Dundee to gain his degree in History with a side study in craft beer and spirits. Struan first specialised his palate by working in several of the world’s top craft beer bars. Loving an excuse to put beer and whisky together Struan has divulged his knowledge as a drinks writer for Ferment in the UK and Froth in Australia. All this, while also working as a comedian in some of the UK’s biggest clubs, dozen of festivals and performing in countries around the world including Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand and Germany.

Struan’s knowledge and travel experiences means he is a true lover of world whiskies as much as single malts from the motherland.With more opportunities for travel when working for drinks subscription Beer52 before joining Cask88. Around the streets of Edinburgh you might see Struan walking his trusty companion, Maisie the corgi. Feel free to say hello.

Carl Johnstone

Sales Manager

Introducing Carl from Carlisle – don’t let the ginger beard and love of single malts fool you – this Cumbrian boy’s whisky journey began and momentarily ended with a generous nip of Famous Grouse, supplied by his grandad Jim. Several years later, and a venture further north, Carl joined The Gleneagles Hotel as a Sales Manager where he spent six years working with a variety of global clients, to deliver the highest level of Scottish hospitality and to share the unique experiences this country has to offer.

While he is not exploring the quirkiest corners of Scotland, searching for that perfect dram, he can be found on the golf course or building a special home for his whisky collection – made from an upcycled cask of course! Whether you are a self-proclaimed whisky connoisseur or are yet to start your journey, Carl believes everyone should have the opportunity to own their own small piece of Scotland. Carl is always happy to assist clients with their whisky needs, and answer their most burning questions – so feel free to reach out and put his knowledge to the test!