Whisky Magazine Issue 20
This article is 15 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 © 1999-2017. 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.
John Haydock attacks everybody, dismisses everything then wakes up and denies it all exclusively in Whisky Magazine every issue. Remember – not only did you read it here first, it was the only place you read it …
I was waiting for a flight to Bruges when the 'phone rang. My trip had been funded by Belgium's leading men's fashion magazine, 'Ercules, for whom I had been working for some time on a fascinating project, linking and matching the flavour and character of malt whiskies to fabrics. Three free blazers (all first-class highlands), a pair of slacks (a disappointing polyester Fettercairn) and a rather dodgy continental tweed suit (originally thought to be from Scotland, but it turned out to be from Arras, with all the body of an obscure vatted Glen brand) seemed inadequate reward for my labours. But here was the prize; a week in Belgium leading my new Weave and Whisky (tm) tastings for the country's leading whisky writers and top designers. Moreover, a promised lifelong commission on all sales of a new ‘Haute Haydock' (tm) Laphroaig-infused lycra distillery workwear range was not to be sniffed at by a hack on my meagre earnings.
It was Rupert, bastion of the whisky industry's few remaining late-lunchers. “John, are you on Islay yet?” I began to explain that this year's Islay visa had expired some time ago and that I was on other business, but Rupert would have none of it. “Listen mate,” he said, exasperated, “it's Seachdain nan deur [the week of the tears] but worse than that, there's something going off out there. Something bloody strange. Bloody find out what, bloody asap. The plane's waiting for you, so bloody get on it!”
‘Farewell 'Ercules' I mused, as I tru...