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Issue 14 - Strong whisky, stronger women

Whisky Magazine Issue 14
February 2001


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Strong whisky, stronger women

James Berry examines the growing trend of women drinking whisky, traditionally a male preserve.

You probably think that it's beyond you to pin her down, that all-evasive female whisky drinker. What exactly is her natural habitat? How does she behave? Can she be characterised? But the fact of thematter is, if you can't find her you're simply looking too hard. She's right there in front of you; in the pub, propping up the member's bar, on the small screen, the big screen and on the cover of magazines. They have never been too far apart, women and whisky. Almost without exception you could probably surmise that wherever and whenever there has been whisky through the ages women have never been more than a stones throw away. Chalk and cheese they are not.

But neither are they bread and butter. Because as with many age old institutions and practices there invariably come a vat load of presumptions and stereotypes as well. Just ask the nearest person what image the typical whisky drinker conjures up in their mind. The Highland Scot ambling through misty glens with a kilt and hip flask? The weary southern American blues man perhaps, possessing a voice so gravelly it can only have been reared on rough tobacco and bourbon? Well-bred rugby players injecting a burst of life in high spirits after a testing game? The crusty septuagenarian enjoying a daily dram in his leather armchair, faithful labradors at his feet? More than likely one of these caricatures will fit the bill.

And then what about a group of energetic young women, fun loving, modern and attractive hitting a city b...

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