Whisky Magazine Issue 112
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The man behind a Canadian transformation
Wherever Lawrence Graham goes he has a gift for bringing the ingredients of a happy and interesting life with him. When he was a rancher in Africa, he helped make 10,500 acres of wide-open savannah, and the village it supported, thrive. Prior to that he had spent several years aboard a sailboat which took him and his family around the world.
Feet firmly back on solid ground in his native Canada, Graham, an Army Reserve Officer, then found himself managing an Officers' Mess and its whisky collection. That experience was the first step in the gradual transformation of a sleepy Canadian city of 125,000 into a whisky epicentre.
Today, the Victoria Whisky Festival is becoming recognised as one of the premier international whisky festivals.
This event has grown to include four full days of carefully coordinated sessions with more than 40 masterclasses, dozens of A-list brand ambassadors on hand, several hundred whiskies on pour, and many spin-off functions.
If that is not enough, in 2009 Lawrence Graham launched Whisky Intelligence, a whisky news web site that has since become a must-read for industry types and whisky aficionados.
Strange but true: whisky was not always part of Graham's life. “For a while I experimented with the lesser spirits and in the course of that misadventure was slowly introduced to single malts. From there things have gone horribly wrong: the clubs, the festival, Whisky Intelligence, the Malt Maniacs, a major over-supply issue at home… but seriousl...