Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

Issue 14 - From concert pianist to connoisseur

Whisky Magazine Issue 14
February 2001

 

This article is 13 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

Copyright Whisky Magazine © 1999-2014. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.

From concert pianist to connoisseur

Michael Jackson talks to Rachel Barrie, a woman who had childhood dreams of being a ballerina or a concert pianist, but became Glenmorangie's Product Development Leader.

Ambitions? Between the ages of five and ten, I wanted to be a ballerina. From ten to 15, I switched to concert pianist. Then I wised up, I realised that your have to be absolutely exceptional for careers like that.”

Rachel Barrie punctuates her brisk replies with a chuckle. She leans away as she laughs, head thrown back. The gesture is not calculated, but the body language is disarming. Perhaps she is thinking that this is all too stereotypical: that every little girl wants to be a ballerina. Not necessarily a concert pianist, though. Nor with such chronological precision. Five-to-ten, then ten to 15, like ages for different vattings of malt whisky. Those careers never came to realisation, but Rachel did dance: “Ballet, tap, disco ...” She still looks like a ballet dancer: small, neat, feminine, hair tied back. She laughs a bit too much for a concert pianist, though.

Despite these artistic leanings, she recalls that “at school, I chose logical and scientific subjects: maths, physics, chemistry,
biology.” Chemistry brings us neatly to smells, one of the dominant topics in both our lives. “I realised at an early age that I was very sensitive to smells. I remember things because of smells.” Like? “Music: the musty, woody, walnut smell of the piano at my grandmother's. Hill
walking: heather, the spicy smells of pine cones. Then there were the smells of the kitchen. I was always interested in cooking. My father has a good sense of smell, though my mother is b...

To read all of this article...
Please register with whiskymag.com. Already registered? Login now.

 

Whisky gift and present finder