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Issue 146 - Chasing the Dram

Whisky Magazine Issue 146
September 2017


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Chasing the Dram

We meet the BBC Radio 4 panellist behind a new whisky and food book

Whisky is like middle-aged clubbing.” Excuse me? Rachel McCormack is persuading me about her main conclusion on the whisky lifestyle from her new book Chasing the Dram. “If you remember how excited you used to get about getting dressed up on a Saturday night, then whisky can do that for you, in your forties, in a way that clubbing has no draw at all. It's true, it's really good fun. You get this rush of ‘What are you trying? Where is it from? What's the cask? Where's the distillery?'” She's right, of course.

McCormack is known for her forthright opinions, dry sense of humour, her wealth of gastronomic expertise, and an appetite for success that secured her a regular slot as a panellist on The Kitchen Cabinet on BBC Radio 4. Eight years ago, she moved from the west of Scotland to London where she began to organise food events, run cooking classes and talk about food on the radio. “We don't cook much with whisky and we probably should. There's no point in doing a book with 110 recipes with whisky as that's not very interesting, so I thought, I'll do a road trip and I can learn about whisky whilst I'm going around.” Chasing the Dram is like sitting at the bar with a friend and having a good blether [Scottish word for a lengthy chat] over some great drams. Scottish travelogue titles such as Tom Morton's Spirit of Adventure, and Iain Bank's Raw Spirit are her reference points rather than the distillery A-Z and numerical list books that have filled bookshop shelves in ...

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