Whisky Magazine Issue 100
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Dave Broom considers the last 100 issues and how times have changed, but still some things have not.
It all seems a lifetime away and yet, somehow, only yesterday that the coach pulled up outside Strathisla distillery and disgorged a disparate collection of drink journalists (as I believe we called ourselves in those days) to try a new whisky from Chivas Brothers.
It was called ‘The Century of Malts', not because it was 100 years old, but due to the fact that it was comprised of 100 different single malts, vatted together by Colin Scott.
We duly tasted, murmured our approval, and mused why such a lavish trip had been laid on for the sake of one bottle. Then we were ushered into a second chamber.
There, spread out on a series of tables, was a sample of every whisky which had gone into the vatting (and, yes, you could use that term in those days). It was the first time that I'd seen the DNA of a whisky laid out like this, an opportunity – rare even these days – for a blender to say ‘here is my work, see what you think' and also a sense of two other questions politely being asked, ‘can you spot the joins, could you do this?' It was a challenge, it was hugely ambitious, it was crazy.
The whisky writers started to nose, the wine writers, used to tasting centuries of wines at one sitting, began to sniff and spit only to admit defeat a dozen or so drams in.
The exercise worked. As we raised befuddled but happy heads we appreciated that we couldn't see the joins and no we couldn't do it.
Also, we had been exposed to a new way of looking at whisky. We'd seen plenty of...