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Issue 107 - Mellow fruitfulness?

Whisky Magazine Issue 107
October 2012


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Mellow fruitfulness?

DaveBroompacks his bags and racks up the air miles with whisky shows galore

Autumn, according to Keats, is the season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness,”a time to relax and savour the bounty of the year. Not these days, John. Autumn for the whisky trade is the season of manic activity, a time when everyone seems to wake up rather than sit and contemplate the year's work, “dowsed with the fume of poppies,” tempting though that may be.

This is the time when whisky shows collide and air miles are racked up. There's a slightly crazed look in ambassadorial eyes as trips to every corner of the globe are recounted as if in a weird version of Top Trumps. “I'm off to Iraq and Venezuela,” says one. “Kazakstan and Chile,” counters another. In comparison with the hard core, mine has started in a fairly benign manner: just Paris, Shanghai, Taipei, Hamburg and, as I write, Berlin.

As ever, there's lessons to be learned from all: the need for some designer to perfect the tropical weight kilt to give comfort to the traveller to Taiwan. Whoever you are, the chafed brigade of whisky missionaries will salute you; the fact that yak meat is a great match with Talisker, a fact gleaned in Shanghai; that Hamburg now has a bar dedicated to the the Highball.

Every place is different, every event sees a fresh lot of questions, and yet there is a common whisky-related thread. Someone will tell me that they are on their way to Scotland to visit distilleries for a few days and are wanting tips on where to go. I don't mind becoming a trip advisor, anyone who wan...

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