Whisky Magazine Issue 11
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I was lunching with my publisher recently in a trendy London restaurant, as one does. It was the kind of place which is favoured by advertising account executives and merchant bankers; my publisher was hoping to persuade the chef/owner to write a book. While we were waiting for him at the end of the meal, we fell to chatting with the wine waiter. I enquired about the demand for malt whisky, of which he had a pretty decent selection, largely independent bottlings. “Over the past year,” he said, “there has been an increasing number of women ordering one or two glasses of malt with their lunch – usually well diluted, often with ice – rather than wine or mineral water. They say it isn't so soporific as wine, yet compliments what they are eating. He indicated a couple of svelte Blair babes in sharp, dark suits who were scrutinising their bill with a calculator.
“It is too early to tell whether this is a trend, but it's not an isolated incident. The straw poll I took for this editorial reveals that similar sightings of style-conscious, 30-somethings have been made in stylish restaurants in Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester and Edinburgh as well as London. And, of course, Scotch (usually blended or 5-year-old malt, drunk long, with a mixer) has been a fashion accessory in Spain, Italy, France and Greece for years.
There was a time when Scotch (and soda) was only drunk by women of the mettle of P.G.Wodehouse's ‘aunts' – formidable ladies in tweeds, who stood no nonsens...