It is not easy to write this without tears wetting my eyes. There is nothing I hate more than not knowing I am talking to someone for the last time. I feel so bad, but this is why I am writing this article. I never met the guy, never set on the same table, never shared a dram in person. Unfortunately, the only dram I shared with him virtually turned out to be our parting dram. This article is devoted to Brett Ferencz or Scotch Tropper as hundreds of thousands of people know.
It looks like we had our first interaction over Instagram in 2016 when I was still living in Turkey. We had some conversations over the years after I moved to the US. I had the chance to follow his great creative work with Star Wars figures and whisky on his Scotch Trooper Instagram account. His work didn’t only create excitement but it also created disputes in 2018. He never gave up and worked towards his passion for whisky with his creative agency, Ferencz Creative. He collaborated in a delicious whisky with Virginia Distillery Co. and until 2020, he worked at ASW Distillery. He is also mentioned in Whisky Advocate! He created wonderful works for brands, became an idol for photographers, whisky enthusiasts, whisky nerds. He is such an important brick in our small #WhiskyFabric community.
2020 gave us a ton of bad news, but the ones that came from Brett were the most heartbreaking ones for me. At the age of 41, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. As we expected, he stood up, took out his saber and started to fight it. The #whiskyfabric reacted fast and started a GoFundMe page to support him and his family during his treatment. We followed up on his situation from this page for months.
The last time I saw his face live was during an auction that we donated whiskies and whisky-related things and raised money for him. That night was so much love!
Unfortunately, today we received following news from Tiffany, Brett’s wife.
A million stones are hitting on my heart now. I really can’t imagine what he and his family are going through right now. I don’t know if I could keep this fight as long as him if I was in his place. All we can do is, support him and his family the best way we can, wish them the best and stay strong.
Letter To Brett
If you are reading this brother, it looks like we will have to postpone our gathering to another life. Well, that should actually give you a head time to mature some good whiskies for us to enjoy together when I join you out there. I always admired your work, your excitement and your enthusiasm for an industry which also became my life just like yours. However, I do admire you more now with your never-ending spirit over the tough time you have been experiencing, your love for your family and the love circle that is created around you!
Parting drams are always emotional, they bring good people together and create a warmer relationship all the time. Parting drams also signal the beginning of a new chapter.
This is just the beginning of a new chapter for us and to celebrate it, I will raise a dram for you every Tuesday that I can, which we will call #ScotchTrooperTuesday from now on until we meet again.
You can still support Brett and his family!
- His Go Fund Me page is still open for donations!
- You can buy a bottle of Alexander Murray Scotch Trooper Bruichladdich 1991 27 Year Old, with all benefits going to Brett’s family.
- You can boost their morale by communicating with them from this page
whiskeynetwork.net and WBSE would like to express our deepest condolences. As has already been stated, parting dreams are always the hardest! Quoting Adam Levine, “Cheers to the ones we’ve lost along the way!”
Bill Varnell, Co-owner WBSE
To Brett and his family! May God grant you all His peace, mercy and grace at this time and forever more. May He surround you with love from all those you have touched and fill you with an awareness of how much you mean to so many. Brett may you rest easy and go to God full of knowing you did everything you could for those you love! Cheers!
Similarly to you not knowing Brett in person, you and I have never met face to face. And much like you never needing to meet Brett in person to have had him impact your life, I will never need to meet you in person for your tribute to have an impact on me.
I have (never will I say had) the pleasure of knowing Brett for close to 25 years. While growing older, having families, and being “geographically challenged” for the last 10 years has led he and I to change in many ways, one thing always remained; he was just as genuine, and humble, in person as he has been in the virtual community. I have not ever been involved with the whisky community, but I can tell that people have a genuine passion and affinity not only for the nectar, but for the people as well.
As a friend of Brett, I thank you for your words and tribute, as I am certain Brett’s family would. While I may not be sharing a dram, I will certainly endorse #ScotchTrooperTuesday.
I saw this way too late, but still feeling the same.
Thanks for your words Todd. And God bless Brett.