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Issue 139 - What's In A Title?

Whisky Magazine Issue 139
October 2016


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What's In A Title?

Quite a lot, if you happen to be a genuine master distiller

Has anyone reading this taken a stroll down Harley Street in London? Aside from the beautiful stucco fronted buildings, it's an enlightening experience. At the side of almost every nondescript doorway, you'll find a small, highly polished brass plaque inscribed with a name, alongside a seemingly random set of capitalised letters, signifying the particular skill of the building's occupant. Here we find dieticians, osteopaths, brain surgeons, liver specialists and almost every other type of medical expert. For centuries, Harley Street has been the beacon of medical proficiency for those who can afford it.

By expert, I mean professionals with whom we would entrust our very lives, should the unfortunate need arise. As corny as the plaques are, the various different titles each of these professionals display fill us with confidence; they demonstrate the person in question possesses a deep understanding of their specialist subject; that their skills have been justified by a wider body of professionals and that they have undoubtedly spent many, many years practising their ‘craft' to the point that they can legitimately practise with confidence and offer the very best medical care that money can buy.

What's in a title? In the drinks industry, with the continued boom in craft distilling, especially in the US – and now in Scotland, the title of master distiller has become synonymous with excellence in spirit quality… or has it?

Seemingly, a day doesn't go by without a ...

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