By Kampala Sun writer
Members of the exclusive Johnnie Walker Blue Club bade farewell to outgoing Uganda Breweries Ltd Managing Director, Alvin Mbugua, in a multi-sensory Scotch Experience at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa, on Wednesday August 25.
From Jim, Obangaina to Maria, the country’s most popular live band Afrigo Band serenaded the guests with its unique musical style ‘Ssemadongo’ as they danced and sang along to the timeless hit songs.
Mbugua was appointed UBL’s MD in 2019 and steered the business to a 33 per cent growth in the last financial year, despite operating in a volatile environment characterised by Covid-19 lockdowns. He now moves to Panama, where he has been posted as General Manager, Diageo Caribbean and Central America (CCA), the largest beer business in Latin America and Caribbean region.
Mbugua was presented with a lifetime membership to Uganda’s Blue Club and it was a fitting farewell because he oversaw the launch of the club in 2015, during his first stint at UBL, when he served as Commercial Director. He steered the re-launch of the club when he returned as Managing Director in 2019.
The Blue Club is Uganda’s leading club for whisky lovers. Each Blue Club experience is built around the theme of ‘Whisky Conversations’ and designed to immerse members in the history, provenance and pioneering spirit of the Johnnie Walker brand, combining luxury whisky innovation with art, design, fine-dining and culture.
Mbugua recounted the journey of the Blue Club in Uganda. “It gives me great joy that I leave a robust club of whisky connoisseurs and I couldn’t have asked for a better send off,” he said.
Mbugua made his last sales pitch in his capacity as UBL MD, imploring guests who hadn’t yet signed up to join the Blue Club. “We believe that whisky is an art form. As a member of the Johnnie Walker Blue Club, you can fully appreciate some of the world’s finest whiskies in the company of fellow connoisseur members,” he said.
Blue Club membership entitles one to perks including; personal shopping service, bespoke gifting with custom labels, packaging and bottle engraving available year-round and first opportunity to purchase limited edition Johnnie Walker products.
Other benefits include a right to host a luxury Johnnie Walker mentorship for up to 50 guests at a member’s residence, complimentary access to House of Walker locations across the globe and access to a Scotland trip concierge to visit Johnnie Walker Princes Street, a new global flagship experiential destination in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Membership to join the Blue Club is free when one purchases a full case of Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
Guests at Mr Mbugua’s farewell were immersed in a multisensory Scotch experience, with mentorship from Johnnie Walker Brand Ambassador Agaba Tumusiime. There were whisky tasting booths representing the four corners of Scotland that took guests on a Scotch journey appreciating Singleton’s fruity notes, Glenkinchie’s floral and fruity palette to smoky Talisker, climaxing with Blue Label, the pinnacle of whisky blending.