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Issue 37 - You've never had it so good?

Whisky Magazine Issue 37
February 2004


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You've never had it so good?

Is whisky produced today as good as it used to be? Richard Jones hosts this months' philosophical debate

Ultimately, it all boils down to a question mark. One of the liveliest and most contentious debates in the world of Scotch whisky divided by the
Riddler's favourite grammatical symbol.

On the surface everything might appear tranquil, but delve beneath and it's right up there with caramel, chill filtration and‘straight, on the rocks, or with a dash of water' when it comes to topics most likely to send your average whisky lover spluttering into his or her Springbank.

We're not talking ‘do you prefer Laphroaig 10 year old or 30 year old' now.

This cuts right to the heart of everything the Scotch whisky industry stands for at the beginning of the 21st century.

Are the bottles produced and released today better or worse than they were 10, 20 or 150 years ago?

In short, are we living in a golden age or golden glut?

In the red corner, fighting for the modern face of Scotch whisky, we meet the ‘halcyon days of whisky' brigade.

Here, in the complete absence of the voluptuous curve of the interrogation point, ‘you've never had it so good' can be uttered loudly and enthusiastically, with maybe an exclamation mark thrown in for good measure.

“There has quite simply never been a better time to be a whisky drinker!” they proclaim. “You should all be thanking your lucky charms the next time you crack open that Quadruple wood (ex Bourbon, ex Sherry, ex Croft Original, ex Jacob's Creek cask), Cask Strength, Individually Numbered, Special Edition, GTi, 4x4, February 3rd 1...

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