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Issue 10 - Getting off at Saint Cloud

Whisky Magazine Issue 10
June 2000


This article is 18 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Getting off at Saint Cloud

Michael Jackson, Master of the Quaich, in sheepish mood.

Had I fallen asleep in the passenger seat, or had I really stepped out for the afternoon in a place called Rainbow Village, in Saint Cloud, Minnesota?

It sounded like America at its most conservative, but even such prairie parishes accommodate jazz musicians who know Eddie Condon's hangover cure (‘Take the juice of one bottle of whiskey ...'). Dan Preston, a guitarist, had probably drifted from somewhere else. I met him by chance over a drink. He presented me with a bottle of Brakspear's Henley Ale, and said it was to thank me for having introduced him to snowy Dalwhinnie.

People who live in cold, northern, climes can have warm appetites. The distinguished Minnesotan Garrison Keillor was recently heard in Britain, on BBC radio, demanding:,"Give me a whisky without an 'e'". His desire for a Scotch thus having been spelled out, he became more specific, "I want one so smoky that it would be illegal in most states of the Union". If someone as down-home as Keillor can make a peaty malt sound like a bedroom practice, Islay could be in for some boom years.

Reminds me of a joke someone told me about islanders' sexual preferences. The jest is unsuitable for a family newspaper, or even Whisky and Rock magazines, but the pay-off line is, "Hey, Macleod, get off of my ewe."

I was told the full version by a fellow guest at an otherwise very decorous dinner in Blair Castle. Non-British communicants should not be misled into thinking that our Prime Minister has taken to living in a fo...

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