Whisky Magazine Issue 136
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The Murray McDavid sets sail
Edward Odim, the new Managing Director of independent bottler Murray McDavid explained on meeting him that, "I've always loved boats. Or should I say, I've always loved wooden boats. As a young man I owned one – a gaff rig – on the east coast, down in Norfolk. I worked on the engine and rubbed down the wood and used to spend my weekends doing that. As I'm sure you could guess, people who like boats do a lot of ‘boat dreaming.' A few years ago I was looking online at all of these boats for sale and I suddenly saw this beautiful old wooden one. It was from the 1950s, an ex-pilot boat, it'd had a working life… and it was in a pretty basic condition.” So began Edward's tale of how we came to be on that very same vessel, now lovingly restored and renamed, of course, ‘Murray McDavid', sailing proudly down the Clyde on what must have been one of the hottest April days Glasgow has ever seen – undoubtedly a good omen for the boat's maiden voyage.
Berthed in the heart of Glasgow, alongside the city's famous tall ship and Riverside Museum, Murray McDavid's floating outpost has become a hub for whisky tastings and other events. I could immediately tell that simply taking any boat and naming it after the independent bottler wouldn't have been enough for Edward. No, it had to have a history, a character and genuine quality – even if those facets had been hidden behind a little rust. It was soon clear that rescuing something special, something abandoned and out of its ow...