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Issue 21 - Tasting with a wean

Whisky Magazine Issue 21
February 2002


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Tasting with a wean

Instead of the usual acidic finish, why not enjoy a somewhat sweeter, slightly sentimental, but not overpowering, finish with John Lamond- just for a change

I became a father at the age of 46, after 11 years of happy marriage, during which my mantra had always been: “Budgies are much less trouble!”

With hindsight, parenthood is something which I possibly should have experienced many years ago. The demands of this little person are a real shock to a system which is, or rather was becoming, somewhat set in its ways. A greater discipline is now necessary. Greater tolerance and patience are also absolute necessities. I find that I have lost two or even three hours work each day. My sessions of tasting have to be slotted in around her necessary routines, and this is difficult: I only taste three whiskies in a single session and attempt to taste either at midday or around 4.30 to 5.00pm when my palate is at its most receptive – ie when I am hungry. Unfortunately, these times almost always coincide with the times when my little girl is hungry! The result is several deadlines which haven't been met, and several close calls.

Some new aromas have been added to my tasting palate, and yes, with Jamie Walker of Adelphi I recently experienced a cask of Linkwood which smells exactly the same as the first nappy of the morning – it was disgusting, but I can now put an identity to the stench. And no, it didn't taste quite as bad as it smelt. And yes, of course I had to taste it. I am a true professional!

Her name is Kirsty, and she has been treated to the aromas of classed growth clarets, fine Burgundies, quite a number of the world's w...

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