Whisky Magazine Issue 106
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There's a number of things which happen when you mention Rio to your friends. First, they stop talking to you, then they begin to mutter about “jet-set lifestyle” but as the departure date looms they start to ask if you can fill your suitcase with Havaianas flip-flops.
In my case, they also look at you with a look of mild bemusement as if to say, “but you do whisky, why are you going to drink cachaca?” Well my dear chums, allow me to tell you gently that Brazil is currently Scotch's fastest-growing export market and is set to become Johnnie Walker's largest single market. Brazilians may drink a lot of cachaca, but they are also under the spell of Scotch, so going was perfectly sensible.
I was there to observe, it gets better, the grand final of the Diageo World Class bartender competition which is, as far as I can ascertain, the toughest and most prestigious bartender competition in the world. For three days, bartenders were shaking and rolling, stirring and mixing to astoundingly high standards. What was heartening however was the way in which Scotch was beginning to emerge from the back bar and make a presence for itself.
Andy Mil the UK representative (from London Cocktail Club) was sloshing Talisker around with abandon, using its smoke and sweetness as a flavouring agent in many of his drinks.
Kae Yin works at Marsalis in Taipei which is a temple to Scotch and smokes and it showed in his drink during the food matching challenge
SKYE AND SEA