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Issue 122 - Running the Voodoo Down

Whisky Magazine Issue 122
September 2014


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Running the Voodoo Down

Dave looks into age versus maturity

July means ‘Tales of the Cocktail' and that means going down to New Orleans for the greatest celebration of spirits – in every sense – in the world. Those of alcohol were ever present, as were those of the people attending, even the members of the spirit world seemed closer, especially on the night when Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds rolled into town dragging their killers and revenge ballads, their tales of blood and mud, and apocalypse; a scary voodoo brew which seemed to mirror the storm rumbling towards me across the bayou, darkening the skies, making children weep and men glance to to the skies seeking auguries, unsure of the portents it was bringing. They clutched dripping entrails in their hands, seeking sloppy meanings in their divinations, they turned on their screens and read their priests' words, still unsure if they came from men of goodness or snake-handling charlatans.

All that was clear was that there was a storm on the way, the river rising, the sky empurpled, the baleful moon glaring down, casting huge shadows of men on the decaying walls.

The reason for all of this? A class on whisky. A class on whisky which dared to ask whether there was a difference between age and maturity. “Age is about numbers,” I had said. “Maturity is about character. Age therefore is not the sole determinant of quality.” It wasn't that new a thought, I've said it many times before, but here it was articulated in a different way – by blind tasting. This was not done ...

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