We spoke to Brett, one of our customers, about his passion for whiskey, Star Wars, photography, and how he combines the three through his clever Instagram, @scotch_trooper.
"Do. Or do not. There is no try." – – – – – Hard work pays off… and it's always good to have a quality dram when it does. It's fun to see all the hard work of good friends opening well deserved doors in the whisky world and beyond. I'm quite excited to see what this next year has in store. #TheBalvenie #Balvenie #Balvenie14 #caribbeancask #StarWars #Stormtrooper #HardWork
Tell our readers a little about you.
So, where to begin… I am Brett Ferencz, a Whisk(e)y drinker with a Star Wars problem. By day I am a Web Designer/Developer, but my love for photography, Whisky and Star Wars has found a happy place in Social Media, mostly Instagram. I combine Toy Photography and Whisky to show a lighter side to a spirit and industry that can take itself too seriously at times. I am doing my part to make it more accessible and show that it doesn’t have to be a smug high luxury drink. But mostly, I am just having fun playing with toys and enjoying delicious Whisky.
How did you come up with the idea for Scotch Trooper?
It all really started as a joke. I had just had my first taste of Scotch at a Rush Concert and wanted to connect with other Whisky Enthusiasts. I had heard there was a large following in Social Media, so I created an account that would both show my main interest in Whisky but not come off too serious so no-one would think I knew what I was talking about. Since I am obviously a huge Star Wars fan, it seemed to be the perfect mix to combine the two.
"A little higher. Just a little higher." – – – – – When enjoying a dram outdoors, it's always good to recork your bottle. You never know what could end up falling inside. That being said, in taking this shot, the cork fell into that Glencairn Glass not once, not twice, but four times. At least I had a solid dram of Macallan 12yr to enjoy when I was finished. #Macallan #TheMacallan #Macallan12 #StarWars #Stormtrooper #GlencairnGlass
Are you a professional photographer?
I have been a freelance photographer for over 10 years now. I never pursued it fully but always had the passion for it. However, my love for whisky and photography has really found its home in Social Media as I am currently photographing whisky for a few other Instagram accounts. It’s bringing me to whisky tastings, VIP events and distillery visits. I couldn’t be happier.
What’s your favorite Star Wars movie and why?
I always go back and forth on this. I still think the best Star Wars film is the original, A New Hope. However, the first Star Wars film I saw in the theater (when I was 5) was Return of the Jedi. So that film will always hold a special place in my heart.
What’s your LEAST favorite Star Wars movie and why?
Episode 1 – Phanthom Menace… Jar Jar, that’s all I will say about that.
Krennic: The power that we are dealing with here is immeasurable. Vader: The Emperor is most displeased with your inability to decode the Cipher. – – – – – Like a blind tasting, the Glenlivet Cipher is a mystery. No cask information, no tasting notes, just a limited edition black bottle left for you to decode. Also noted, Jim Murray awarded the Cipher as the NAS Whisky of the Year. **As a side note, for those who have not seen Rogue One yet, let's keep it a mystery for them, and keep all spoilers to yourself. #Glenlivet #theglenlivet #glenlivetcipher #mystery #DarthVader #orsonkrennic #deathtrooper #stormtrooper #starwars #ad #rogueone
Did you see Rogue One? What did you think?
I have seen Rogue One 3 times. And I love it. It’s not what I was expecting as a Star Wars film, it was a bit darker than I thought it would be, but loved it for that. Seeing it a second time really made it that much better. Once I could focus on the movie and not my own expectations I was able to relax and really enjoy it. Plus, one of my good friends worked on the film. So seeing her name in the credits at the end was kind of huge.
Are you using any of the cool new Storm Trooper types in your photography?
There were a few new Troopers introduced in Rogue One, I have used the new Death Trooper in a few shots, as well as the Scarif Trooper. But my favorite character to use from the new film is K-2SO. He stole the show in the movie, and is a hit in my photos.
"Now that's the droid we were looking for. As soon as he opens the bottle, we jump in." – – – – – I was almost as excited to post this pic as I was to get my hands on this bottle. I said "almost". Many thanks to Lagavulin Distillery Manager Georgie Crawford who saved me a bottle of this year's Feis Ile release, the 18yr. This bottle may not be opened yet, but we had a few samples during our tour, and it's as amazing as you would expect from #Lagavulin. #StarWars #IslayWhisky #Lagavulin18 #FeisIle #RogueOne #K2SO #JynErso #DeathStar
What is your favorite Scotch?
That is a question I get often, but I never have a straight answer. It all depends on my mood and surroundings. But I say this, the Balvenie 12yr Double Wood is the whisky that transformed me from a Scotch Drinker to a Scotch Lover. It really opened my eyes to the high quality whisky that is out there.
What Scotch have you most often given as a gift?
I have bought the Laphroaig 10yr Cask Strength for almost everyone in my family at one point or another. You can’t really get any better (if you like smokey whisky) than Cask Strength Islay Whisky.
Any recommendations for people just starting to try Scotch?
There are so many whiskies out there with such a variety of flavors, aromas, and subtle differences. Don’t judge all of whisky based on something you tried once in college. If you try something you don’t like, make a note of it and try something else.
What Scotch would you recommend for making the prequels watchable?
Anything Cask Strength, you’ll need the extra alcohol content. But I will say, they serve their purpose in furthering a story. They don’t compare to the original Trilogy, but there are still moments in each that I still do love.
A Sunday Speeder Bike ride through the DoubleWooded Forest Moon of Endor. – – – – – A throwback to one of my most favorite shots. I thought it deserved another post. It was probably one of my hardest setups, but it was so worth it. It's still the wallpaper for my iPhone. #Balvenie #TheBalvenie #balveniedoublewood #StarWars #ScoutTrooper #SpeederBike
How did you find out about Fracture?
In the past I have had some of my photos printed on a canvas. I loved the large format, but it lacked the detail and the pictures faded after some time. I was looking for something different and found Fracture from a Google Search. My prints turned out amazing, and look quite amazing on my office walls.
Any final thoughts before we go?
Just a huge thank you for this. I can’t tell you the amount of amazing people I have met along the way. I am beyond humbled by where things have come, and really excited to see what may be around the corner.
#FBF to when I got invited to Lucas Films to geek out on all the things! Many thanks to my buddy @balveniejw for the behind the scenes shot. ( 📷 credit @balveniejw ) . . . . . . . . . . #behindthescenes #behindthecamera #toyphotography #StarWars #starwarsblackseries #Stormtrooper #firstorderstormtrooper #LucasFilms #ILM #StarWarsToys #InstaToys